Thomas Tuchel, the manager of Chelsea, has acknowledged that none of his forwards wants to don the team’s No. 9 jersey because they believe it to be “cursed.”
Romelu Lukaku returned to Inter Milan on loan in June, leaving the jersey vacant. It appears that this will continue through the 2022–2023 season.
Lukaku was the most recent in a long line of players to struggle with the squad number on their back, scoring just eight Premier League goals in the previous season.
While supporters have long made fun of the unfortunate jersey, it appears that everyone in the Blues’ locker room now genuinely wants to stay away from it due to its dismal history.
According to ESPN, during a press conference on Friday, Tuchel said of the No. 9 jersey: “It’s cursed! People claim that it is cursed. It’s not true that we leave it open so that some players in the pipeline can inevitably take it or for tactical reasons.
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“The demand for the number nine was not particularly high. Although nobody wants to touch it, players occasionally want to change the numbers.
“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.