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Nike keep early ‘90s theme going with leaked 2019-20 Chelsea away kit, training shirt

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It’s a theme!

Stamford Bridge circa 1992
Stamford Bridge circa 1992
Photo by Anton Want/Allsport/Getty Images

Chelsea’s 2019-20 home kit leaked yesterday, and the response has been ... mixed ... to be generous. I don’t necessarily mind it at first glance, though I’m going through a bit of a paisley and polka dot phase (not at the same time). Everyone goes through that at least once in their lives, right?

It’s certainly not a boring design, which inherently will polarize the reaction, and it draws inspiration from the early ‘90s, which isn’t exactly a time known for great fashion — though that is subjective as well.

In any case, Nike are clearly following pattern, with year one of their 15-year contract drawing inspiration from the ‘70s, this year’s kits drawing inspiration from the ‘80s, and now dipping back into the time of Nirvana and Super Nintendo. Having a theme doesn’t make the design good by definition, but at least it’s not completely random.

With the home kit a clear homage to the 1991-92 Umbro classic kit (right down to the BLUE socks, which Chelsea haven’t worn at home since), it’s not surprising that the away kit is a slight rework of the 1990 third shirt. Of course, there are only so many ways to do a white kit, so next season’s all-white getup will resemble plenty other kits over the years, even with the red and blue trim on the collar and the sleeves. I do love a proper collar on a football shirt.

Previous rumors indicated that the shorts will be white and the socks blue, but since we already got blue socks with the home kit, the away kit will probably be white. Maybe we can swap them around to add a bit of contrast back in to all this retro-futuristic monochrome.

You may have seen another image going around in the last day or so, a rather garish black and orange number, which is set to be the pre-match warmup shirt for the third kit as well as in Europe.

This eyesore of a design harkens back to the 1990-92 away shirt, which sported this white and ... brace yourselves ... red pattern from the cutting room floor. Yikes!

Chelsea’s actual third shirt has not been leaked yet, but that won’t be the last shirt to watch out for next season. We will apparently have a slight twist on the home shirt as our “Cup” shirt, joining that growing trend to try to milk the fanbase for more of those sweet, sweet merchandising dollars.

At least it won’t be as silly as the “Supporters’ Shirt” which paid tribute to our Champions League victory with orange stripes (huh?) and a tramp stamp. Classy!