Thomas Tuchel Confirms Chelsea Players Are Refusing To Take A Particular Jersey Number. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has stated that no player at the club wishes to wear the cursed number nine jersey. The number nine jersey is currently vacant, as Romelu Lukaku has returned to Inter Milan on loan this summer.
The Blues signed the Belgian international last summer for a club-record fee of £97.5 million, but he struggled last season. In 43 appearances across all competitions, he scored 15 goals and assisted on two others.
Tammy Abraham wore the number nine shirt before Lukaku. The England international started well but eventually lost form and fitness before joining AS Roma.
In the past, superstars such as Gonzalo Higuain, Alvaro Morata, Radamel Falcao, and Fernando Torres all struggled while wearing the Chelsea number nine shirt.
The Blues have gone two seasons without a number nine in the last decade (2014-15 and 2016-17), and that could happen again this season.
Tuchel claims that the number nine position is vacant not because of potential signings, but because no one at the club wants it. According to ESPN, Tuchel stated:
“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.”
Thomas Tuchel talking about the number 9 shirt. pic.twitter.com/rE5aqWE5zd
— Frank Khalid (@FrankKhalidUK) August 6, 2022
According to various reports, Chelsea may be looking to sign a center-forward this summer. The Blues have been linked with Barcelona’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Red Bull Salzburg’s Benjamin Sesko.