Tony Cascarino. Chris Sutton. Mateja Kezman. Khalid Boulahrouz. Steve Sidwell. Franco Di Santo. Fernando Torres. Radamel Falcao. Álvaro Morata. Gonzalo Higuaín.
They all tried.
They all failed.
Only Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink escaped the Curse of the No.9 Shirt at Chelsea since the inception of the Premier League in 1992. (You can make a case for Hernán Crespo, Gianluca Vialli, and Mark Stein as well, but they’re far less conclusive.)
After scoring against Barcelona on Tuesday, his first goal this preseason, 21-year-old homegrown Academy product Tammy Abraham confirmed he will be the next to try his luck. He doesn’t believe in curses, you see.
“I’m honoured to wear the No 9 at Chelsea. I spoke to the manager and he asked me if I was ready to take it. I said, “Yeah, I’m ready”. I’m glad he offered it to me. I’ve heard all the rubbish about the No 9, but I’m here to play my game and do my best.
“Football brings a lot of pressure. It drives me on. It gives me the extra belief. It was my first goal in a Chelsea shirt and now that’s out of the way it will be nice to push on and score some more.”
-Tammy Abraham; source: Mail
First non-competitive goal. May it be followed by many more on days when they truly count.
Curses can be broken, after all.
(As with Willian’s No.10, Zouma’s No.15, Mount’s No.19, or Pulisic’s No.24 or No.22, this isn’t official confirmation of the number just yet. Lampard did say that all the shirt numbers will be confirmed “in due course”, which hopefully means soon.)