There may have been no surprises in the official 2015-16 home shirt reveal video earlier today, but as people starting looking at the shirts online and placing orders, one unexpected development did emerge.
Randomly on the website looking at the shirts and see this.. #Cuadrado11 pic.twitter.com/6llNV8st1Q— Thibauted (@Thibauted) July 16, 2015
Juan Cuadrado picked up the just vacated #23 when he arrived in January (used to belong to Mark Schwarzer), but his preferred #11 became available when Didier Drogba hung up his Chelsea boots (again) at the end of the season. Maybe a switch back to his number at Fiorentina (and his usual number for the Colombian national team) will help Cuadrado rediscover the form that prompted Chelsea to spend £26m on him six months ago.
Juan Cuadrado toma el 11 de Drogba en el #Chelsea pic.twitter.com/x4ThzokmJy— Fútbol Fichajes (@FutboolFichajes) July 16, 2015
Cuadrado thus becomes the fourth player in the Abramovich era to wear the number, joining Damien Duff, Didier Drogba, and Oscar (who switched to Frank Lampard's old #8 when Drogba came back last summer). Before then, the #11 was synonymous with the legendary Dennis Wise and the not quite so legendary Boudewijn Zenden.
So, more Duff, less Zenden from now on, Juan. Make the shirt proud!