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Top five victims of Chelsea’s No.9 Curse

Romelu Lukaku
  • Chelsea’s No.9 jersey has recently been a topic of discussion. The strikers who wear the jersey have ended up as flops. 
  • The No.9 curse at Chelsea began in 2004 after Jimmy Floyd, who previously wore the jersey, left the club as a free agent. 
  • Romelu Lukaku is the last victim of Chelsea’s No.9 curse. Big Rom failed to impress last season and has since rejoined Inter Milan on loan this summer. 

The number nine jersey is usually for the best striker in the team. Strikers who wear the number nine jersey are expected to impress by scoring goals for their respective teams. It is always a huge responsibility to wear the No.9 jersey at any team, especially if you are a new signing.

It has not been easy for players wearing Chelsea’s number nine jersey in recent years. All the players who worn the number nine jersey have flopped. 

Even though these players were signed as superstars from rival teams, they ended up as squad players. The number nine curse at Chelsea might continue for some years. The jersey is feared as it has led to the downfall of some of the best strikers of the modern era.

The curse began nearly ten years ago when Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink left the Blues’ No.9 jersey. All the strikers who have worn the No.9 jersey after him have ended up as flops. 

This article will look at the top five victims of Chelsea’s No.9 shirt in recent years. 

1. Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku. Photo/

The Belgian international is the latest victim of the No.9 Chelsea curse. Big Rom secured a move to Chelsea last summer for the second time in his career. 

Chelsea fans expected Lukaku to be their goalscoring machine due to his amazing performance at Inter Milan. Lukaku helped Inter Milan win the 2020-21 Serie A title and finished as the second top scorer in the league. 

However, things didn’t work out well with Lukaku after joining Chelsea in the summer of 2021 for 97 million euros. The Blues No.9 curse fell upon him as he struggled the whole season of last season. Football fans trolled him until he returned to Inter Milan on loan last month.

2. Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres is another victim of the Blues No.9 curse. The Spaniard joined Chelsea in January 2011 for 50 million euros, making him the sixth most expensive player in history. 

 Chelsea fans had big expectations after Torres joined from Liverpool. The Spanish international was among the best strikers in the world during his time at Liverpool. He left Liverpool after scoring 81 goals in 142 appearances. 

Before joining Chelsea in January 2011, Torres had scored nine goals in 26 appearances for Liverpool. Things didn’t work out for the striker after he was given the No.9 shirt at Chelsea. Torres scored one goal in 18 appearances he made for Chelsea until the end of the 2011-12 season. 

Torres struggled for the three seasons he spent at Chelsea. He couldn’t deliver as many fans expected him to do. The Spaniard left in 2014 after scoring 45 goals in 172 appearances. 

3. Alvaro Morata

Alvaro Morata broke Chelsea’s transfer record in 2017 when he joined the club for 60 million euros. The fans expected Morata to impress due to his transfer value and form at Real Madrid. 

However, things didn’t work out for Alvaro Morata at Chelsea after being handed the No.9 jersey. He struggled to impress just like the other players who wore the No.9 jersey at Stamford Bridge.

Morata was sent out on loan after one and a half seasons with Chelsea. He made his loan move to Real Madrid permanent in 2019. 

4. Gonzalo Higuain

Higuain is the third Argentine striker to join Chelsea after Di Santo and Crespo. He was given the No.9 jersey after Morata joined Atletico Madrid on loan. 

Higuain, who joined Chelsea on loan from Juventus, was expected to shine at Stamford Bridge due to his amazing goalscoring ability. However, he struggled with the No.9 curse just like his predecessors at the London club. 

The Argentine returned to Juventus after his six-month loan spell where he managed five goals in 14 appearances. 

5. Tammy Abraham

Tammy Abraham is one of the finest academy graduates of Chelsea. The youngster was Chelsea’s main striker during the 2019-20 campaign. He did an impressive job in his first season with the No.9 jersey as he finished the season as Chelsea’s top goalscorer with 18 goals.

Tammy Abraham

Tammy Abraham. Photo/ Sky Sports.

However, the curse fell upon him the following season as he struggled like the previous No.9 strikers. He lost his position in the team’s starting eleven and eventually joined AS Roma last summer. Tammy did an outstanding job at AS Roma as he scored 27 goals in 53 games. 

He is just another victim of Chelsea’s No.9 curse. 

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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