The major rule change approved on Thursday which will allow Premiership managers to use five substitutes per match may offer a boost to several of Rangers’ fringe players [SPFL.co.uk].
The decision has been taken with player welfare in mind given the condensed fixture schedule as a result of the global health crisis.
Use of up to five substitutes in Scottish Premiership matches for the 2020/21 season has been approved by Premiership clubs.
— SPFL (@spfl) July 30, 2020
This season, there will be less time between fixtures and no winter break, and so the rule change allows for greater rotation.
It’s a rule change that theoretically could benefit the big clubs more than others. The Old Firm have bigger squads and more quality to introduce from the bench and two of those who could particularly benefit at Rangers are Brandon Barker and Greg Stewart.
Barker endured an extremely disappointing first campaign at Ibrox, turning out only 12 times in all competitions, scoring just once and failing to register an assist.
He’s caught the eye of many supporters with his performances during pre-season, though, and the role of impact sub could suit him perfectly.
Barker might not be as technically gifted as Ianis Hagi or Ryan Kent, but he has pace to burn and is finally showing a desire to take on full-backs.
The increase in the number of permitted substitutes could ensure the 23-year-old is deployed on a weekly basis to cause tiring defenders problems.
Greg Stewart had a more impressive first season at Ibrox than Barker but still wasn’t afforded as many opportunities as many supporters believed he deserved.
The ex-Aberdeen and Killie attacker only managed 676 minutes in all competitions but the rule change and an injury to Jermain Defoe could see him handed more opportunities this time around.
The 30-year-old knows where the net is and has been used as a substitute in pre-season.
His two-goal salvo in the closing stages against Hearts in January showed he can make an impact off the bench and he will be hoping he’s called upon regularly across the campaign.