Chelsea confirmed the signing of Barcelona forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a deal worth £10million – plus a free transfer for left back Marcos Alonso – late on deadline day. The move marks a return to England for Aubameyang, who only joined the Catalan side in February on a free after his exit from Arsenal, and will see him reunite with former boss Thomas Tuchel.
However, tongues are wagging already because Auba has taken the ‘cursed’ No 9 shirt at Chelsea.
The number nine was vacated by Romelu Lukaku after his return to Inter Milan in June – and there is a long history of Chelsea strikers struggling in that shirt.
The 72-cap international wore No 17 at Barcelona and No 14 at Arsenal, but wore the number nine for part of his time at Saint-Etienne and with Dijon in France. Lukaku, signed in August 2021 for £97.5million, only scored eight Premier League goals in a disappointing season.
Alvaro Morata, Fernando Torres and Radamel Falcao are among the high-profile forwards to disappoint while wearing No 9.