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Chelsea confirm new shirt number for Mateo Kovacic, but not Romelu Lukaku

Chalobah, Anjorin also assigned

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Photo by John Walton/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

Mateo Kovacic is out of the temporary wayhouse that is the No.17 shirt and into some legendary digs in the No.8 shirt, as confirmed by Chelsea’s surprise announcement of squad number assignments today. Final Premier League squad registrations are not due for another three weeks, and the club had pointed out repeatedly that numbers worn in preseason matches or even the UEFA Super Cup were not to be taken as any indication of anything.

And in a way, they were right, since Kovacic was still at No.17 on Wednesday, but he takes the No.8 from Ross Barkley (bye Barkles), who had taken it from Oscar who had taken it from Frank Lampard, who had made it legendary.

The other notable assignments confirmed are third goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli taking No.13, Trevoh Chalobah taking No.14 (last seen on Tiemoue Bakayoko) and Tino Anjorin taking up the vacant No.27 officially, which hopefully means that both of them are sticking around for a while yet.

Of course, with Tammy Abraham still at No.9 and no word on Romelu Lukaku. He’s shown with No.18 on the Premier League website, but that’s just his old number from way back when that had been used by Olivier Giroud most recently.

In any case, here’s the current rundown, but I would expect this to still change during the transfer window.

  1. Kepa Arrizabalaga
  2. Antonio Rudiger
  3. Marcos Alonso
  4. Andreas Christensen
  5. Jorginho
  6. Thiago Silva
  7. N’Golo Kante
  8. Mateo Kovacic (NEW)
  9. Tammy Abraham
  10. Christian Pulisic
  11. Timo Werner
  12. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (as before)
  13. Marcus Bettinelli (NEW)
  14. Trevoh Chalobah (NEW)
  15. Kurt Zouma
  16. Edouard Mendy
  17. **vacant**
  18. **vacant** (Lukaku?)
  19. Mason Mount
  20. Callum Hudson-Odoi
  21. Ben Chilwell
  22. Hakim Ziyech
  23. **vacant** (last seen on Gilmour; Batshuayi before then)
  24. Reece James
  25. **vacant** (unofficially retired for Zola)
  26. **vacant** (unofficially retired for Terry)
  27. Tino Anjorin (NEW)
  28. Cesar Azpilicueta
  29. Kai Havertz
  30. **vacant**
  31. **vacant**
  32. **vacant**
  33. Emerson

NB.: Also, Ethan Ampadu has No.44 and fourth goalkeeper Lucas Bergstrom has No.36, though I’m not sure either of those is all that meaningful.