The number nine jersey is generally considered to be one of the most coveted jerseys at the club. The number nine shirt is generally handed to the lead striker at a club.
Great players like Ronaldo (Brazilian), John Cruyff, Bobby Charlton, Alfredo Di Stefano have donned the number nine shirts for their clubs and countries and have made the number an iconic one. But when it comes to Chelsea, the number nine shirt is considered a cursed one.
Since 2006, when Dutch defender Khalid Boulahrouz joined the club and took the number nine shirt, players who have worn the number have not really excelled at the club. From Boulahrouz to Fernando Torres, who despite being the most expensive football in England at one of time, they could not reach the heights they were expected to reach.
In the later years, Alvaro Morata, Gonzalo Higuain and lastly Tammy Abraham all wore the number nine shirt but failed to convince fans. New signing Romelu Lukaku will be donning the shirt next and Chelsea fans will hope that the curse gets over soon so that the club’s record signing will deliver.
Here, we take a look at the last nine numbers 9s of Chelsea and where they are now.
The Dutch defender joined Chelsea in 2006 and played for a season before moving to Sevilla on a season-long loan deal. But he returned to Chelsea in January 2008 after six months. In 2008, he finally moved to VFB Stuttgart.
Boulahrouz retired from professional football in 2015 after spending the final season of his career at Feyenoord. He recently joined Dutch club AZ as an assistant coach for their U18 team.
The English midfielder played at Chelsea for only a season donning the number 9 shirt. After leaving the Blues, he moved to Aston Villa and later played for clubs like Fulham and Stoke City. He retired in 2018 after spending two seasons at Brighton & Hove Albion.
After retirement, he joined Brighton as a youth development coach and club ambassador.
The Spanish striker joined Chelsea from Liverpool in January 2011 for £50 million which was a British transfer record at that time. Fernando Torres played at the club till 2015 and in the final year of his contract, he was sent on loan to AC Milan. He later moved to his first club Atletico Madrid where he spent three seasons.
He played in the J-League for Sagan Tosu in the final year of his professional career and retired in 2019. In July 2021, Torres was appointed as the head coach of Atletico Madrid’s U19 side.
The Colombian forward joined Chelsea in 2015 on a season-long loan deal from AS Monaco. It was a disappointing stint for Falcao who scored just one goal in 11 Premier League appearances. Falcao joined Galatasaray in 2019 and continues to represent the Turkish side.
The Spanish international joined Chelsea in 2017 for a transfer fee of £70 million on a five-year deal. But after one and a half seasons, he was sent on loan to Atletico Madrid and then moved to the Spanish club permanently in January 2019 for a transfer fee of around £58 million.
In 2020, Alvaro Morata was sent on loan to Juventus and in the summer of 2021, the Italian club extended his loan deal for one more year.
The Chelsea youth product was promoted to the Blues’ senior side in 2016 but was immediately sent on loan to Bristol City. He has also played on loan at Swansea City and Aston Villa in the last few years. He did score 18 goals in the 2019-20 season, helping the club secure continental football but lost his starting spot in the next season.
In 2021, the English forward joined AS Roma on a five-year for a reported transfer fee of £34 million. Chelsea, though, have included a £68million buy-back clause in the contract