Chelsea are yet to give a player the burden of their cursed no9 shirt for the coming season. We take a look at the players who have flopped while wearing the iconic number for the blues.
Looking into the past Tony Cascarino was Chelsea’s first no.9 of the Premier League era and he really set this curse on its way.
Serving only two seasons at the club Cascarino bagged a sad total of 6 goals in both combined and the closest he came to a trophy was runner up of the 1993/94 FA Cup.
Moving ten years on from Cascarino’s departure Mateja Kezman joined for the 2004/05 season and although this was a successful season for Jose Mourinho’s blues, Kezman didn’t have the same fate.
Arriving from PSV for £6.75m Kezman managed to only score four goals in 25 games which forced a transfer to Atletico Madrid at the end of the season due to his poor goal output.
Khalid Bhoularaz and Steve Sidwell
It was clear that their was a curse following the No.9 shirt at Stamford Bridge and it seemed Chelsea’s solution at the time was to give the number to players in the wrong position.
This solution first appeared with the signing of Khalid Bhoularaz from Hamburg who was quite the opposite of a No.9 having played as a central defender his whole career. As expected he did not thrive and through injuries rarely appeared and was sold after one season.
Moving onto Steve Sidwell they decided to slowly work back up the pitch and give a central midfielder the number. Sidwell was an interesting signing as he wasn’t a premier league starter but had shone in Readings inaugural season in the Premier League.
Expectedly Sidwell’s time at Chelsea didn’t go to plan and even though he made 25 appearances he was one of the many No.9s to be no longer after one season.
Franco Di Santo
Finally Chelsea returned the No.9 back into a strikers hands where it belonged, just maybe not the right one.
Being only 19-years-old it was no surprise his time was unsuccessful. The Argentine made only 9 appearnces for The Blues in the 2009/10 season and was subsequently sent on loan to Blackburn Rovers for the remainder of the season. His time at Chelsea then came to an end permanently joining Wigan for the new season.
Moving into more well-known players Fernando Torres was signed to hopefully end the curse once and for all. The transfer was one with high optimism due to his successful time at Liverpool but once again the curse proved to be too overwhelming.
Torres ended the season at Stamford Bridge with just 1 goal in 18 matches and in this time going 903 minutes without scoring. Chelsea fans hoped it was just the Spaniard finding his feet down south but their hopes didn’t materialize with the forward only scoring 45 goals in 172 games for the club.
Although he may not have had personal success with the club he did manage to lift the FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League trophies in his time. His time at Chelsea came to an end when he moved back to Atletico Madrid in 2014.
With the No.9 curse in full flow it was time for Radamel Falcao to take the reigns. Having just completed an underwhelming loan spell at Premier League rivals Manchester United the Chelsea board decided to take another chance on the Colombian.
The new No.9 scored just once in 12 appearances for Chelsea and ultimately returned back to Monaco at the end of his loan spell. So the curse continues.
Once again attempting to break the curse Chelsea broke their transfer record and signed Alvaro Morata for almost £60m.
The Spaniard didn’t have a dreadful time at Stamford Bridge unlike past No.9s but he wasn’t close to filling Diego Costas boots who had a successful time at The Blues. Morata managed 11 goals in his first season but this wasn’t seen as enough from the board and he was sent on loan to Atletico Madrid before making a permanent transfer in 2019.
Higuain only had a short loan spell at Chelsea and was the third Argentinian to take the No.9 shirt.
During his six month loan spell he made 14 appearances scoring 5 goals. He then returned back to Juventus and it’s clear to see the forward is now past his prime currently playing at Inter Miami.
The most recent victim to the curse is the Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku. After a mixed spell at Manchester United Lukaku moved to Inter Milan. Two years later Chelsea broke their transfer record again and Lukaku was signed for £97.5m.
The Chelsea board would’ve hoped that spending this amount on a forward would break the curse for good. Starting off strong with three goals in his first three games it was looking possible but this form didn’t last the whole season managing only 8 goals in 26 games that season. This resulted in Havertz taking over as the main forward.
Stating his lover for Inter Milan it wasn’t long until Chelsea allowed the layer to return to the San Siro on loan.