Chelsea’s manager Thomas Tuchel has revealed that nobody wants to touch” the club’s No. 9 shirt in the midst of fears it could be cursed.
The number is currently vacant after Romelu Lukaku re-joined Inter Milan on a season-long credit, fuelling hypothesis it was by and large, left for a potential new signing as the club keeps on looking for a forward with Barcelona’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Red Bull Salzburg’s Benjamin Sesko getting looked at.
Lukaku’s disappointing effort at Chelsea last season is the very most recent in a progression of players to frustrate while wearing No. 9 at Stamford Bridge.
Tammy Abraham scored 18 goals in the 2019-20 season, but battled with injuries and form a year after the fact prior to joining AS Roma.
Gonzalo Higuain, Alvaro Morata, Radamel Falcao and Fernando Torres all showed up at Stamford Bridge with grandiose expectations only to battle to live up to assumptions – – and the club have two times spent a season without a No. 9 somewhat recently (2014-15 and 2016-17).
Seemingly Chelsea’s last rewarding incumbent was Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who won the Premier League’s Golden Boot in his most memorable season – – showing up in 2000 as a then-club record £15 million signing from Atletico Madrid – – prior to establishing his ubiquity until leaving for Middlesbrough in 2004.
Romelu Lukaku, the latest wearer of Chelsea’s No. 9 shirt, scored eight Premier League goals last season. Asked about why no player in the team had taken the risk to hold onto what is generally an exceptionally desired number, Tuchel said:
“It’s cursed! People tell me it’s cursed! It’s not the case that we leave it open for tactical reasons or for some players in the pipeline to come in and naturally take it.
“There was not a big demand for the number nine. Players sometimes want to change numbers but surprisingly nobody wants to touch it.
“Like, everybody who is longer than me in the club, tells me ‘you know he had the nine and didn’t score and he had the nine and he also did not score.’ Now we have a moment, nobody wants to touch the number nine.”
Chelsea have been disappointed in their quest for a new forward while they also passed up signing Raphinha, as the former Leeds United winger decided to join Barcelona.
Notwithstanding, they have signed Raheem Sterling from Manchester City and Kai Havertz as well.
In the mean time, Tuchel said:
“So we are relying heavily on our wing-backs in this system and still we think it is a good structure for the characteristics of our players. So given this, we should also not get confused that we demand the same of the players that would may be possible in a different structure. The structure itself is never the problem. From there we go.
“We got new quality in with Raheem which helps us a lot. We get our wing-backs going, hopefully Reecey [Reece James] is fit for the season, Chilly [Ben Chilwell] will get fit and hopefully Marc [Cucurella, a £63m signing from Brighton] will join us so we have this support from the wings.
“Then we need to improve on the inner positions, to be fluid and clinical and create a little bit more support from behind. Let’s see.
“We can’t promise [the end of] the curse of the number nine. I am also superstitious. I can understand why players maybe don’t touch it and have other preferences. It is like this. I think Raheem will help us a lot and it is our responsibility to create more offensive players where we have more players in the box.”