Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has revealed none of his players want to take the number nine shirt because they think it's 'cursed'.
The number nine is usually the most coveted shirt at any club as it's reserved for a team's top striker. It guarantees you'll be leading the line whenever available.
At Stamford Bridge, all it has guaranteed in the last 18 years is poor form and massive scrutiny. Romelu Lukaku is the most recent victim and he's now back at Inter Milan on loan after a disastrous £97.5 million transfer.
Tuchel was asked why none of his players have touched the number nine ahead of Saturday's clash with Everton and he delivered a very honest answer.
"It’s cursed, it’s cursed, people tell me it’s cursed," Tuchel admitted.
"It’s not the case that we leave it open for tactical reasons, for some players in the pipeline that come in and naturally take it.
"There was not a big demand for number nine when players sometimes want to change numbers.
"Surprisingly, nobody wants to touch it."
Chelsea have added Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella to their squad this summer and all three have already chosen their shirt numbers.
Acadamy graduates Conor Gallagher and Armando Broja, who spent last season out on loan, are expected to play roles for the Blues in this campaign and have also picked numbers.
Tuchel continued: "Everybody who is here longer than me tells me, 'ah, you know, he had the nine and he did not score and he had the nine and did also not score'.
"So we now we have a moment where nobody wants to touch the number nine.
"I’m also superstitious, I can understand why players maybe don’t touch it and have other preferences."
Among the names to wear nine for Chelsea are Mateja Kezman, Hernan Crespo, Fernando Torres, Falcao, Alvaro Morata and Gonzalo Higuain,
While the number nine isn't worth much, the number 26 is perhaps the most valuable number at Chelsea.
John Terry wore the shirt during his 19 year stint with the Blues and he'll go down as one of their greatest ever players.
It remained vacant following his departure in 2017 until now, with Koulibaly taking it. The central defender wore number 26 during his time with Napoli and personally contacted Terry to ask for his blessing.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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