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The no. 9 Curse at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea
Chelsea no. 9s
Pratik Neupane

The number one striker of the team is usually provided the no. 9 Jersey. Alvaro Morata recently wore the #9 jerseys and hasn't sneezed in the direction of goals lately before changing his jersey number to no. 29 to mark the day of his twin children's birth. Many of the Chelsea's no. 9 have flopped since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink last wore it. The no. 9 Jersey has been synonymous with poor performances at Stamford Bridge. Let's take a look at 8 Players who wore the no. 9 Jersey and struggled.

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Mateja Kežman

#8 Mateja Kežman:

The Serbian international arrived at the Stamford Bridge alongside PSV teammate Arjen Robben and was burdened by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's hefty no. 9 jersey. While the Dutchman had lit up west London for years, Kežman flopped under pressure, providing a very little competition to Didier Drogba. It took him until December to knock his first goal which was just an injury-time pitty penalty in the 4-0 battering against Newcastle. He scored three more league goals through the season before getting booted out to Athletico Madrid. In 2011, Kežman claimed to Sky Sports that the move to west London was the best thing that has happened in his career, He might want to have a look at the stats.

Hernán Crespo
Hernán Crespo

#7 Hernán Crespo:

Well let's not label Hernán Crespo as a flop, He scored 20 league goals in 49 appearances. The Argentinian no. 9 was unable to settle off the pitch, Crespo couldn't pass through the language barrier and couldn't adjust with the culture shock. Having arrived from Inter Milan he was sent to AC Milan for a loan spell, In AC Milan he lost to Liverpool in the Final of the UEFA Champions League. He was dragged to the Bridge for one final time. Crespo claimed he felt left out away from football, and he missed human warmth during his time in London. Despite the performance of Hernán Crespo on the pitch, the curse managed to disrupt what could have been a long and a fruitful career at the Stamford Bridge.

Khalid Boulahrouz
Khalid Boulahrouz

#6 Khalid Boulahrouz:

Seriously, it was unclear why was Khalid Boulahrouz wearing a number clearly suited for strikers. The man was a Rightback and not a very good one either. He signed from Hamburger SV in August 2006 and probably confused everybody while being unveiled as the proud successor of Hernán Crespo's no. 9 Jersey. Injuries disrupted his short spell while he made 13 appearances before leaving to Sevilla on loan, Vacating the no. 9 Jersey.

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Steve Sidwell

#5 Steve Sidwell:

The decision of signing Steve Sidwell is almost as confusing as giving him the no. 9 jersey. It was the time when Roman Abramovich seemingly forgot that he had some bucks in his bank account and Chelsea left the midtable scrappy years ago. Signing the likes Steve Sidwell, Claudio Pizarro, and Tal Ben Haim by a champions league club was bizarre. Sidwell, Of course, did exactly what he promised- Nothing. 0 Goals and 15 appearances later he was shipped off to Aston Villa, and he may still be wondering how he managed to trick a champions club to sign him.

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Franco di Santo

#4 Franco di Santo:

Oh! Franco, Trying to break through and make a name for yourself as a striker in a club which already had the likes of Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Daniel Sturridge can't be easy. With the Weighted no. 9 in the back, the pressure must be almost unbearable. Thankfully for Chelsea fans, the Argentine only played 16 times for the Blues but on the rare occasions he was featured he never scored any goal.

Fernan
Fernando Torres

#3 Fernando Torres

When Carlo Ancelotti arrived he decided to stop humiliating any of his players forcing them to wear the cursed no. 9 jersey. It was paying off as everyone in the team played out of their skin as the team won the league and scored over 100 goals. Then Fernando Torres was brought in January 2011. If anybody could handle the pressure it was him, the man won Euro 2008 and World cup 2010, Having experience of playing in the top level with Athletico Madrid and Liverpool, He was one of the most feared strikers in the world. But, not even Torres could escape the curse of the no. 9 jersey. Failing to score a goal in his first 920 minutes for Chelsea he went on to score 20 league goals in 110 appearances for Chelsea across three and a half season. He scored more than that in his first season at Anfield.

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Radamel Falcao

#2 Radamel Falcao:

Radamel Falcao's season-long loan to Chelsea actually managed his Old Trafford nightmare look like a success. He scored 4 goals in 29 games in Manchester, while he scored only once in 10 appearances in the blue shirt. The blues had been chasing him since the hattrick he scored against them in the UEFA Super Cup, but this Falcao was low on confidence and fitness level. Still, he will have that one strike against Crystal Palace which is more than Steve Sidwell Managed.

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Alvaro Morata

#1 Alvaro Morata:

He actually had a mediocre first season statistically, Scoring 11 goals in 31 Appearances. He started the season on fire scoring and assisting. He scored a wonderful hat-trick against Stoke. After a great first half of the season, things started to go south as it seemed he was missing his shooting boots. But as he has swapped the no. 9 jersey for the no. 29 jersey, Are we going to see a goalscoring machine in Alvaro Morata? Only time will tell!

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Alvaro morata unveiling his new no. 29 jersey
Edited by Moderator -PJ

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