Romelu Lukaku Handed ‘Cursed’ Number 9 Shirt at Chelsea

Published 08/18/2021, 12:56 PM EDT


Romelu Lukaku is a Chelsea player again. The London club signed the Belgian striker again, 10 years after they first acquired him from Anderlecht. However, his transfer fee has exponentially risen since then, and Lukaku is now one of the best strikers in the world.

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Chelsea are not shying away from placing their complete trust in Lukaku as they paid Inter Milan €115 million for his services. Moreover, Lukaku will also wear the number 9 shirt; a number people consider to be cursed for the Blues.

Lukaku gave his first interview as a Chelsea player and revealed that he had got the number after confirming if he could reveal it. “Can I say it? Yes, I’ve got the number 9 (shirt). I’m very happy and very fortunate to be in this situation,” the Belgian said.

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Will Romelu Lukaku break Chelsea’s number 9 curse?

The curse has affected several world-class strikers at the club, from Fernando Torres to Alvaro Morata. However, it all began with legendary striker Hernan Crespo. Given Crespo’s form in Serie A, expectations were high at London, but the forward was average at best and couldn’t justify his €20 million price tag.

Crespo’s time at the club isn’t as bad as the strikers that followed him. Torres was the biggest high profile signing the club made in 2011, as Chelsea broke the transfer record for the Spaniard. However, what followed was one of the worst spells of Torres’s career.

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The forward left the club with some horrible memories, and was replaced by Radamel Falcao as Chelsea’s number 9. He was brought in as cover (a season-long loan from AS Monaco) for Diego Costa and started just two games for Chelsea. The Colombian striker scored once in 12 appearances.

Chelsea again broke their club-record transfer fee to sign Alvaro Morata, who had been prolific with Real Madrid and Juventus. Morata wore the number nine and turned out to be an even bigger flop than Torres. He left the club with compilations of his misses getting millions of views on YouTube.

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Gonzalo Higuain and Tammy Abraham were the last two players to wear the shirt. However, neither of them could prove to be reliable starters. It’s up to Lukaku now to break the curse, and the Belgian has all the tools to do it after his big money move.

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Aniket Awasthi

422 articles

Aniket Awasthi is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. This STEM undergraduate combines an insatiable urge to write with his admiration for MMA and the UFC in general to enhance his journalism. He calls charismatic names like Chael Sonnen and 'The Count' Michael Bisping as his favorite fighters, but he is a great admirer of the rise of Israel Adesanya ever since he fought Rob Wilkinson at UFC 221.

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