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Thomas Tuchel: No one wants to wear the damn number nine Chelsea shirt

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Thomas Tuchel has insisted Chelsea did not intentionally release the number 9 shirt in view of a future signing.

Chelsea’s number nine remains vacant after Romelu Lukaku’s return to Inter Milan and Tuchel said none of the Blues’ current stars want to take the shirt.

The Stamford Bridge club will continue to look to add a striker to their ranks this summer, with Barcelona’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang likely to remain under consideration.

The last six Chelsea stars to wear the nine-shirt have struggled for a lasting impression in west London and Tuchel jokes the Blues’ central batting number is still unlucky.

“It’s cursed, it’s cursed, people tell me it’s cursed!” joked Tuchel.

Romelu Lukaku, pictured, vacated Chelsea’s number nine shirt (John Walton/PA)

(PA wire)

“It’s not like we’re leaving it open for tactical reasons or for some players in the pipeline to come in and take it naturally.

“There wasn’t much demand for number nine when same players sometimes want to change numbers. But surprisingly, nobody wants to touch it.

“Everyone who’s been at the club longer than me tells me, ‘Ah, you know, like he had the nine and he didn’t score and he had the nine and he didn’t score either.’

“So now we have a moment where nobody wants to touch the number nine.”

Tammy Abraham insisted he had no qualms about taking up the number nine challenge as he carried the squad number at Chelsea for two years before heading to Serie A to impress with Roma.

However, Abraham still left Chelsea with unfinished business and it was then that Lukaku’s lonely campaign at Stamford Bridge ended on a sour note.

Tammy Abraham, pictured, performed better in Chelsea’s number 9 shirt than some of the recent stars (Fabrizio Corradetti/PA)

(PA wire)

Fernando Torres, Radamel Falcao, Alvaro Morata and Gonzalo Higuain have all tried and failed to make a lasting impression as Chelsea’s number nine.

However, Tuchel sees the situation relaxed enough to openly joke about it and the Blues could still recruit a centre-forward who would of course take the shirt.

Chelsea have been pushing hard for a transformative summer under new owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, with Marc Cucurella the latest high-profile and cash-rich recruit.

Tuchel still believes the Blues are in transition but vowed not to limit his team’s potential for the new season.

“I don’t think we will have our highest level that we can achieve for the entire season,” said Tuchel.

“I think that’s normal for everyone, but for us it’s absolutely normal and we shouldn’t worry too much because not only has it been turbulent since the new owners are here, but how they came and the situation before.

Todd Boehly, pictured, oversaw Chelsea’s transitional summer (Adam Davy/PA)

(PA wire)

“So we didn’t have the platform to have everything fixed, to go on holiday and have the five weeks of preparation to know who is on our squad and how we train.

“There were constant changes within the squad and within the process. I think the first step is admitting it, being okay with it and not wanting more than it could be. This is the situation.

“We tried to focus completely on Everton this week and that’s the right approach because I felt the team was refocusing, it put everyone at ease and I think we’re ready to go to Everton to get the win.

“We’ll see if I’m right. Then we’ll analyze it and then we’ll prepare for Tottenham in the same way and I’m convinced that through that we’ll find our form, we’ll find our level that we demand of ourselves and it’s like I said I don’t want to lower our pre-season expectations, but at the same time I don’t want to put too much pressure on us.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/chelsea-thomas-tuchel-romelu-lukaku-b2139330.html Thomas Tuchel: No one wants to wear the damn number nine Chelsea shirt

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