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Alvaro Morata Looking To Break The Recent Trend Of Terrible Chelsea #9s

Alvaro Morata Looking To Break The Recent Trend Of Terrible Chelsea #9s
By Mikey Traynor

Alvaro Morata is Chelsea's latest big name signing and the club confirmed on Monday that he will be wearing the number nine shirt for the upcoming season.

At the end of the day a squad number should have absolutely no impact in how a player performs on the pitch, but it's something that many professionals are supersticious about and there are a number of examples, such as Antonio Valencia at Man Utd, where players just were not comfortable with a number be it for expectation, or anything else.

Expecation to live up to the #9 shirt is not something that Morata will have to face, as what has gone before him since the days of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is borderline bizarre.

We've taken a look back at each #9 going back to the Dutchman, who inherited the shirt from Gianluca Vialli, to see just how strange the run is.

Mateja Kezman

After looking like the next Ruud Van Nistelrooy thanks to an outstanding scoring record for PSV Eindhoven, Chelsea had stolen a march on most of the big clubs in Europe by landing Kezman. Unfortunately for the Serb who arrived alongside Arjen Robben, his career trajectory went the opposite way to the Dutchman.

After bagging 105 goals in 122 games for PSV, he managed just seven for Chelsea before leaving and is now held as a point of reference as to why strikers signed from the Dutch league are never a sure thing for Premier League clubs, along with Afonso Alves.


Hernan Crespo

Comfortably the best player on this list, Crespo did OK during his time at London and did score goals in a title winning season, but for the reputation he brought to London, only to be loaned out to AC Milan where he again looked at his best before coming back, the legendary Argentine striker did not hit the heights expected of him.

Khalid Boulahrouz


The man who absolutely enraged football fans who believe that certain numbers should only be granted to players in certain positions, Chelsea's substitute right-back opted for the #9 shirt upon his arrival at Stamford Brigde.

There's not much else to say, really. When he played he was good for little other than a booking, whoever OK'd his choice as #9 should really have just said 'No'.

Steve Sidwell


Another curious one, and the last non-striker on this list, Sidwell's signing was considered a cracking bit of business by Chelsea as he had proven his ability in the Premier League and was snapped up on a free.

Sadly things didn't work out for 'Sidders' as his playing time was always going to be limited in a position battle with Michael Essien and Frank Lampard, and he eventually moved on to Aston Villa.

Franco Di Santo


To this day Di Santo remains a decent player and an admirably hard worker as he has become a fan favourite at Schalke, but at Chelsea his record of 0 goals in 8 appearances speaks volumes in terms of this list.

A good lad, but not a great #9 for one of the biggest clubs in Europe.

Fernando Torres


This really should have been the one to buck the trend as Torres looked to be a good old fashioned galactico signing for the blues, but instead, Liverpool fans laughed relentlessly as the Spaniard struggled to hit the backside of a barn door during his time in London.

Proof that the grass isn't always greener, Torres's record of 20 goals in 110 games is woeful considering what he achieved on Merseyside.

Radamel Falcao


Unlike Torres, the risk of bringing Falcao in was well known after he didn't exactly set the league alight at Man Utd following his recovery from a nasty knee injury.

Continued the pattern of Chelsea's #9 taking up a position on the bench for the majority of his time there.

Alvaro Morata

And now a chance to end the awful run.

Morata will likely have no knowledge to what has been before him, and looks very much like a player who could excell in that Chelsea team under Conte.

If he does struggle however, we're going to have to wonder whether or not Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink put a curse on the number nine on his way out!

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