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5 world-class forwards who have struggled at Chelsea

Alvaro Morata is one of several talented forwards who struggled at Chelsea.
Alvaro Morata is one of several talented forwards who struggled at Chelsea.
Sanstab Das
Modified 09 Apr 2021
Top 5 / Top 10

Chelsea have been home to some of the best forwards in modern football, like Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Diego Costa, to name a few. However, there have also been several high-profile flops for the West Londoners, especially in the no. 9 shirt - a jersey number considered as 'cursed' by many.

Five talented forwards who have struggled at Chelsea:

Much like Manchester United and the no. 7 curse since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure, none of the big-name no. 9s have managed to thrive at Chelsea. The Blues have signed 20 centre-forwards since 2006, but most have struggled to make a mark.

On that note, let's take a look at five skilful forwards who have struggled at Chelsea.

#5 Gonzalo Higuain

Gonzalo Higuain
Gonzalo Higuain

Gonzalo Higuain was the latest casualty of the cursed no. 9 shirt, making just 18 appearances for Chelsea. Signed on loan from Juventus, the Argentine scored only five goals during his ill-fated six-month stint at Stamford Bridge.

The star forward struggled to keep up with the pace and physicality of the Premier League and failed to thrive under his former boss, Maurizio Sarri.

The duo had previously joined forces at Napoli, where Higuain scored 36 league goals in a season - the joint-highest in a single Serie A season. But at Chelsea, Gonzalo Higuain never really managed to replicate his goal-scoring exploits and soon returned to his parent club, Juventus.


Chelsea had the option to buy the Argentine striker for โ‚ฌ36 million at the end of his loan deal. But the Blues didn't opt to do so and also weren't too keen on extending his loan spell.

#4 Alvaro Morata

Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata

Chelsea's signing of Alvaro Morata came as a shock to many, as social media was abuzz with Romelu Lukaku moving to Chelsea and Morata going to Old Trafford. However, it was Lukaku who made a move to United, and the Spaniard arrived at Chelsea.

In hindsight, Chelsea fans would have preferred Lukaku to Morata, as the ยฃ58 million signing from Real Madrid never justified his huge club-record fee.


Brought in to replace Diego Costa, Morata managed a return of just 24 goals in 72 appearances for Chelsea. The Spaniard had a dreadful start to life in England, missing from the spot in a penalty shootout against Arsenal in the Community Shield final.

In 2019, Alvaro Morata was loaned to Atletico Madrid, becoming the most expensive player to be out on loan at that time. After a year on loan at the Wanda Metropolitano, the now-28 year old signed permanently for Atletico Madrid before being loaned out again that year to Juventus.

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Published 09 Apr 2021, 09:05 IST
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