This is one of those things that bears repeating, since it comes up just about every summer: preseason squad numbers are not binding. While some might prove to be the real deal, others are just temporary placeholders.
To underline that point, Chelsea wore shirts with no names in yesterday’s friendly against Brighton.
That said, two of the assigned numbers are quite likely to be confirmed as the “real” squad numbers for two of the high profile arrivals, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. As teased by the official Twitter account, even, they wore No.22 and No.11, respectively, which is precisely what the odds-on numbers for the pair will be once the season starts. Ziyech had worn No.22 at Ajax while Werner had the No.11 at Leipzig. Pedro’s departure left the latter open, while Willian’s departure is expected to mean that the No.10 shirts goes to Christian Pulisic, whose No.22 would thus be available.
Werner x Ziyech— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 29, 2020
We are awaiting confirmation of today’s team news but could we see a first Chelsea outing for Timo and Hakim? pic.twitter.com/Pg0lRGzR4Q
But we have to careful in applying that theory too definitively. Yesterday, the No.10 shirt was given to Conor Gallagher. It’s quite unlikely that the impressive youngster would end up with that once the season starts, as intriguing as that would be. Other (probable) temporary assignments included Ross Barkley’s No.8 on Lewis Baker, Jorginho’s No.5 on Ian Maatsen, Mason Mount’s No.19 on Juan Castillo, and
Danny Drinkwater ’s the vacant No.6 on Jake Clarke-Salter. Myles Peart-Harris, the only non-goalkeeper to not feature, had No.98.
So, might want to hold off on those shirt purchases until these are confirmed at least on the official website.
Chelsea shirt numbers in yesterday’s friendly against Brighton, in full, were as follows:
- Kepa Arrizabalaga
- Antonio Rüdiger
- Marcos Alonso
- Andreas Christensen
- Ian Maatsen (expect to stay with Jorginho)
- Jake Clarke-Salter (*vacant*)
- N’Golo Kanté
- Lewis Baker (expect to stay with Ross Barkley)
- no one (expect to stay with Tammy Abraham)
- Conor Gallagher (expect to be given to Christian Pulisic)
- Timo Werner (probably his actual number; was Pedro’s)
- Ruben Loftus-Cheek
- Willy Caballero
- *vacant* (last seen on Tiémoué Bakayoko)
- no one (expect to stay with Kurt Zouma)
- Luke McCormick (*vacant*)
- Mateo Kovačić
- Olivier Giroud
- Juan Familia-Castiloo (expect to stay with Mason Mount)
- Callum Hudson-Odoi
- *vacant* (last seen on Davide Zappacosta)
- Hakim Ziyech (probably his actual number; was Pulisic’s)
- no one (technically still belong to Michy Batshuayi)
- Reece James
- *vacant* (effectively retired with Gianfranco Zola)
- *vacant* (effectively retired with John Terry)
- Henry Lawrence (*vacant*)
- César Azpilicueta
- no one (expect to stay with Fikayo Tomori, unless he goes on loan)
- Harvey Vale (*vacant*; last seen on David Luiz)
- no one (technically still belongs to Emerson)
- Nathan Baxter
- Ethan Ampadu (same as he had before)
And then Myles Peart-Harris with the unorthodox No.98.