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Chelsea gamers refuse to put on ‘cursed’ No. 9 shirt amid striker woes

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed that “no one desires to the touch” the membership’s No. 9 shirt amid fears it could be cursed.

The quantity is vacant after Romelu Lukaku re-joined Inter Milan on a season-long mortgage, fuelling hypothesis it was being left for a attainable new signing because the membership continues to seek for a ahead with Barcelona‘s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Pink Bull Salzburg‘s Benjamin Sesko into consideration.

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Lukaku’s underwhelming marketing campaign at Chelsea final time period is simply the most recent in a collection of gamers to disappoint whereas sporting No. 9 at Stamford Bridge.

Tammy Abraham scored 18 targets within the 2019-20 season however struggled with accidents and type a yr later earlier than becoming a member of AS Roma.

Gonzalo Higuain, Alvaro Morata, Radamel Falcao and Fernando Torres all arrived at Stamford Bridge with lofty reputations solely to wrestle to satisfy expectations — and the membership have twice spent a season with no No. 9 within the final decade (2014-15 and 2016-17).

Arguably Chelsea’s final profitable incumbent was Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who gained the Premier League’s Golden Boot in his first season — arriving in 2000 as a then-club report £15 million signing from Atletico Madrid — earlier than cementing his reputation till leaving for Middlesbrough in 2004.

Requested why no participant within the squad had taken the prospect to grab what’s often a extremely coveted quantity, Tuchel stated: “It is cursed! Individuals inform me it is cursed! It isn’t the case that we depart it open for tactical causes or for some gamers within the pipeline to return in and naturally take it.

“There was not a giant demand for the quantity 9. Gamers generally need to change numbers however surprisingly no one desires to the touch it.

“Like, all people who’s longer than me within the membership, tells me ‘you realize he had the 9 and did not rating and he had the 9 and he additionally didn’t rating.’ Now we have now a second, no one desires to the touch the quantity 9.”

Chelsea have been annoyed of their pursuit of a brand new ahead whereas additionally they missed out on signing Raphinha, as the previous Leeds United winger selected to hitch Barcelona.

Nonetheless, they’ve signed Raheem Sterling from Manchester Metropolis and with Kai Havertz set to steer the assault in Chelsea’s Premier League opener at Everton on Saturday, Tuchel stated: “I am usually assured that we’re capable of win video games. We managed to attain lots of targets within the system we play.

“The three-4-3 normally, like generally as a 5-2-3, the core of the formation is a bit deep, the core and the power of the formation is a bit deep with three defenders and two central midfielders so from this perhaps the accountability for the three attackers is a bit greater in a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 as a result of they’ve, naturally from the core of the system, a bit extra assist.

“So we’re relying closely on our wing-backs on this system and nonetheless we predict it’s a good construction for the traits of our gamers. So given this, we also needs to not get confused that we demand the identical of the gamers that may could also be attainable in a distinct construction. The construction itself isn’t the issue. From there we go.

“We bought new high quality in with Raheem which helps us loads. We get our wing-backs going, hopefully Reecey [Reece James] is match for the season, Chilly [Ben Chilwell] will get match and hopefully Marc [Cucurella, a £63m signing from Brighton] will be a part of us so we have now this assist from the wings.

“Then we have to enhance on the interior positions, to be fluid and scientific and create a bit of bit extra assist from behind. Let’s examine.

“We won’t promise [the end of] the curse of the quantity 9. I’m additionally superstitious. I can perceive why gamers perhaps do not contact it and produce other preferences. It’s like this. I feel Raheem will assist us loads and it’s our accountability to create extra offensive gamers the place we have now extra gamers within the field.”

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