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 doable new signing because the membership continues to seek for a ahead with Barcelona’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Purple 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 objectives within the 2019-20 season however struggled with accidents and kind 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 battle to fulfill 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 recognition till leaving for Middlesbrough in 2004.
Requested why no participant within the squad had taken the prospect to grab what’s normally a extremely coveted quantity, Tuchel mentioned: “It is cursed! Individuals inform me it is cursed! It is not 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 an enormous demand for the quantity 9. Gamers typically wish to change numbers however surprisingly no one desires to the touch it.
“Like, everyone 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’ve got 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 guide the assault in Chelsea’s Premier League opener at Everton on Saturday, Tuchel mentioned: “I am typically assured that we’re in a position to win video games. We managed to attain lots of objectives within the system we play.
“The three-4-3 generally, like typically as a 5-2-3, the core of the formation is a bit deep, the core and the energy of the formation is a bit deep with three defenders and two central midfielders so from this perhaps the duty for the three attackers is a bit increased 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 help.
“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 must also not get confused that we demand the identical of the gamers that might could also be doable in a special construction. The construction itself isn’t the issue. From there we go.
“We acquired new high quality in with Raheem which helps us rather a lot. 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 part of us so we’ve got this help from the wings.
“Then we have to enhance on the inside positions, to be fluid and scientific and create a little bit bit extra help from behind. Let’s have a look at.
“We will not 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 believe Raheem will assist us rather a lot and it’s our duty to create extra offensive gamers the place we’ve got extra gamers within the field.”