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HomeNationalThomas Tuchel says Chelsea players fear the curse of the number 9...
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Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea players fear the curse of the number 9 shirt MPNRC News

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said the number 9 shirt was not made available ahead of the potential signing, but it was believed to be cursed when several players who wore it failed to make their mark at the London club, he said on Friday.

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Lukaku was the last to wear the shirt after returning to Chelsea for a club-record fee of 97.5 million pounds ($117.69 million) but after a disappointing season he rejoined Serie A side Inter Milan, with whom he won the 2020-2021 Scudetto.

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Several forwards who have worn the number 9 shirt – including Hernán Crespo, Fernando Torres, Radamel Falcao, Gonzalo Higuain and Alvaro Morata – have failed to make an impression at Chelsea despite their excellent track records.

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“People tell me it’s cursed… It’s not like we keep it open for tactical reasons,” Tuchel told reporters.

“Surprisingly, no one wants to touch it. “Everybody who’s been here longer than me tells me, ‘Hey, you know, he had nine and he didn’t score and he had nine and he didn’t score’,” Tuchel added.

“So we now have a moment when no one wants to touch the number nine. I’m superstitious too, I understand why players might not touch it and have other priorities.”

Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been linked with a move to Chelsea and the No.9 shirt in the close season although Tuchel has remained vague about another signing before the end of the transfer window.

“Maybe we will bring in another player, maybe not… we have options but at the same time, we know how many games are coming. So let’s see if we can sign any more players,” he added.

Tuchel expressed concern on Friday that the months before and after the mid-season World Cup in Qatar could affect players, saying the emotions and demands of soccer’s showpiece competition could drain them.

Chelsea begin their league campaign at Everton on Saturday.

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