Luka Modric Conspiracy Theory Alert: Romelu Lukaku Assigned #18

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 15: Luka Modric of Spurs celebrates after scoring his team's second goal from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on May 15, 2011 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Yuri Zhirkov has left Stamford Bridge for Russia, which means that #18 was free for new signing Romelu Lukaku to take over after his move from Anderlecht. A farewell tour of Stamford Bridge with Zhirkov (that link is in Russian, but I'm sure you all know where to find translating machines) shows Lukaku's new locker, with a sexy pair of Predators and his new uniform number: #18.

But wait a second! Lukaku never wore #18 with Anderlecht! Instead, the 18-year-old striker favoured #14, which is vacant at Stamford Bridge. Assuming that the number there isn't his age (it's not; that was a terrible attempt at a joke) there's no real reason he couldn't get his favoured shirt number. Nobody on Chelsea wears #14 - things are empty between John Obi Mikel's #12 and Florent Malouda's #15.

Why would Lukaku not get to wear his favourite number? We don't have to look very hard to see a possible reason, although we do have to leave the friendly confines of Stamford Bridge and head on over to White Hart Lane, where Tottenham Hotspur are continuing to insist that Luka Modric is not for sale. That's #14, Luka Modric, for those not instantly familiar with every shirt number in the Premier League (i.e. me*).

*Yes, I know. I've shamed my family.

It's pretty easy to come to a conclusion based on this and the news that Modric isn't going to be playing with Spurs against Hearts in the Europa League, and although I rubbished expressed skepticism of the idea that the non-inclusion of the midfielder in Tottenham's squad meant anything, this is possibly one element too far to maintain We Ain't Got No History's not-buying-into-anything-until-solid-rumours-appear mentality.

There's just too much pointing at a Luka Modric move at this point to not raise red flags for both fanbases. Sounds like something may be going on here.

Thanks to Sack O' Gonads for the assist.

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