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In this article, you will get all the information regarding Chelsea players confident vacant No 9 shirt is DURNS as Thomas Tuchel reveals NOBODY wants it after Romelu Lukaku’s exit
THOMAS TUCHEL has made the extraordinary claim that the Chelsea number 9 is ‘cursed’ and none of his players want to touch it.
The Blues start their season tonight at Everton with no squad member assigned the traditional centre-forward number and no plans to bring in a new striker to fill the vacancy.
Romelu Lukaku, last year’s record £97.5million buy, was loaned out to Inter Milan after becoming the latest big name to flop in the No 9 shirt, with the Belgian scoring just eight Premier League goals last season .
The Blues signed during Roman Abramovich’s 19-year reign at Stamford Bridge SEVEN Big-name strikers who wore a nine on their back – and all bombed.
Lukaku, Fernando Torres, Alvaro Morata, Gonzalo Higuain, Radamel Falcao, Hernan Crespo and Mateja Kezman all arrived in west London with glittering reputations, but all fell victim to the curse the superstitious German thinks he believes.
Chief Tuchel said: “It’s cursed, it’s cursed – people tell me it’s cursed.
“It’s not like we’re leaving it open tactically for players to come in and take it.
“There wasn’t a huge demand for No. 9 as sometimes players want to change numbers. Surprisingly, nobody wants to touch it.
“Everyone who’s been at the club longer than me tells me, ‘Ah, you know, he had the nine and he didn’t score… and he had the nine and he didn’t score either.’
“So now we have a moment where nobody wants to touch the number nine. I’m superstitious, I can understand why players might not touch it and have different preferences.
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“It’s like that but I think Raheem Sterling will help us a lot and in general it’s our responsibility to create more offensive positions to maybe have more players in the box.”
While Manchester City and Liverpool have both recruited traditional centre-forwards in Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez, Chelsea have gone in the opposite direction – outsourcing Lukaku and not fielding an equivalent replacement.
Kai Havertz and £47.5million new signing Sterling are likely to play as ‘false nines’ in a more fluid system.
Although Albanian striker Armando Broja, 20, has returned from a loan spell at Southampton and could potentially squeeze his way into the starting XI. Tuchel said: “Raheem is one of our attacking players. If we play in the same structure it will be very fluid.
“(On the centre-forward) he can be Kai, Timo Werner, also Broja, who is now in the squad.
“Different profiles, different styles of play. Liverpool and City have shown that it is possible to be very successful with a fluid attacking player in ninth position.”
“It’s cursed, it’s cursed — people tell me it’s cursed.”
Thomas Tuchel on Chelsea’s No 9 shirt
Tuchel is focused on beefing up his defence, with £55m Marc Cucurella moving from Brighton and £85m Wesley Fofana from Leicester, who is the subject of serious interest from Chelsea.
But the manager admits his preferred full-back system can prove cautious.
He said: “I’m generally confident that we can win games. We managed to score a lot of goals in this system that we play, the 3-4-3.
“The core and strength of the formation is a bit deep with three defenders and two central midfielders.
“Therefore, the responsibility for the three attackers is perhaps a little higher than in other systems.
“So we rely heavily on our full-backs and still think it’s a good structure for our players’ characteristics.
“We’re going to adapt and there’s a new quality with Raheem, which helps.”
Tuchel says he has endured a “turbulent” pre-season, with a more hands-on approach to transfer deals as new owner Todd Boehly steps in as sporting director.
And the German claims his squad is still “in transition” and that while Boehly is “ambitious” he is also “patient”.
Tuchel says his side benefited from the ‘wake-up call’ of a 4-0 loss to Arsenal in the United States last season.
And as he prepares for tonight’s trip to take on Everton and Frank Lampard – the Chelsea legend he replaced as boss – Tuchel admits he doesn’t want to put pressure on his players by touting them as title contenders .
He said: “Firstly my feeling is a race for the top 4 and secondly the title race.
“This league is super challenging and when you’re in the title race in March or April you go for the title. But you make sure you’re in the top four – that’s the priority.
“We challenge that and there’s no shame.”
CHELSEA (likely): Mendy, Azpilicueta, Thiago, Koulibaly, James, Kante, Jorginho, Cucurella, Mount, Sterling, Havertz.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5940776/chelsea-players-no-9-shirt-cursed-thomas-tuchel/ Chelsea players confident vacant No 9 shirt is DURNS as Thomas Tuchel reveals NOBODY wants it after Romelu Lukaku’s exit
Chelsea players confident vacant No 9 shirt is DURNS as Thomas Tuchel reveals NOBODY wants it after Romelu Lukaku’s exit
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