Alvaro Morata will wear the No9 shirt at Chelsea, and while all signs point to the Spaniard enjoying a successful time in London after being reunited with Antonio Conte, his former manager at Juventus, there seems to be a curse on that number at Stamford Bridge.
Radamel Falcao was the last high-profile player to wear the No9 in Chelsea blue, and he became the latest in a long line of players to flop in that shirt.
Fernando Torres famously struggled to make an impact at Stamford Bridge, but he was continuing a tradition upheld by a long line of No9s.
Only Hernan Crespo came close to breaking the curse, scoring 20 times in 49 league appearances, but even he spent three of his five seasons at the club out on loan.
Check out which other players failed to live up to the expectations of the No9 shirt at Chelsea in the video below uploaded to HITC Sport’s YouTube channel.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said Monday that forward Pedro sustained “multiple fractures” to his face after colliding with Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina.
The 29-year-old Spaniard was taken to hospital with a bloodied face after Ospina flew into him while clearing a ball with two fists during the Blues’ 3-0 pre-season win over their London rivals in Beijing on Saturday.
Pedro spent the night in a Beijing hospital and returned to London the following day.
Speaking to media in Singapore ahead of a friendly with Bayern Munich on Tuesday, Conte said: “The situation was more serious because I hoped that it would only be a concussion.
“Instead he had multiple fractures and I think with a mask in 10 days, he could come back to work for us.”
Conte said there was no ill-feeling towards Ospina.
“Absolutely no, because I was a player, I know these accidental (challenges) could happen,” said Conte. “Ospina tried to take the ball.”
Ahead of the clash with Bayern, Conte confirmed that new signing Alvaro Morata is in line to make his first appearance for the Premier League champions.
“In my plan it is to give him the possibility to play a part of the game against Munich for sure,” said the Italian.
Spanish international Morata signed for Chelsea last week in a deal reported to be worth up to €80 million.
Asked about Diego Costa – the man Morata is likely to replace – Conte did not comment.
He also refused to discuss midfielder Nemanja Matic, who has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United.
“I don’t like to talk about players still here with us,” added the Chelsea boss.
Provided by AFP Sport
Liverpool have reportedly turned down a £72m bid for Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona, saying their prized playmaker is not for sale.
If a deal were to go through at that price, the fee would be the second-highest Liverpool have received for a player – and there’s every chance Coutinho could break the club record if Barcelona decide to up the ante.
Here’s a look at Liverpool’s five biggest sales and their careers beyond Anfield.
Suarez was briefly the club’s record signing before being eclipsed by Andy Carroll, but few could outdo his impact on the pitch. The Uruguayan was an instant hit at Anfield and nearly led them to a first-ever Premier League title in 2013-14 when the Reds fell just short of capturing the crown despite Suarez’s 31 league goals.
It’s fair to say that a great but short Liverpool career has been topped by Suarez’s exploits at Barcelona, where he won the treble in his first season and followed it up with a league-and-cup double the next year.
Suarez instantly became one of La Liga’s deadliest strikers, rivalling Cristiano Ronaldo and teammate Lionel Messi on the scoring charts. He won the 2015-16 Pichichi with 40 goals.
For a long time, Fernando Torres seemed destined to be the ultimate high-priced flop. He struggled with injuries and form for most of his time at Chelsea, and rarely demonstrated the brilliance that had convinced the Blues to fork over £50m for him in the first place.
However, he etched his place in Chelsea folklore with the goal that clinched their passage to the 2012 UEFA Champions League final, which the Blues went onto win.
Torres is now enjoying a relatively successful resurgence at boyhood club Atletico Madrid.
Raheem Sterling was part of that fateful near-miss in 2014 along with Luis Suarez, and a year later he too decided he wanted out of Anfield. A contract stand-off and an ill-advised interview ensured he’d become one of the most hated figures among Liverpool fans, a status that has yet to change in the two years since he moved to Manchester City.
He struggled in his first season at City, leading many to deride him as an overpriced flop, but when Pep Guardiola arrived in 2016, Sterling began to thrive.
Although City had a poor season by their standards, he was one of the team’s outstanding players. His play alongside fellow young stars Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus has fans salivating at the thought of an attacking triumvirate that could dominate for years to come.
Usually, a player who scores an outstanding solo goal for Liverpool at Old Trafford would become an instant hero. Alas, it was not to be for Christian Benteke, as he struggled to fit into Jurgen Klopp’s system after the German arrived in 2015. He lasted just one season at Anfield before being sold to Crystal Palace.
The move to Selhurst Park has so far worked out well for the Belgian striker, as 2016-17 saw Benteke score 15 league goals. Two of them came in a shock win for the Eagles at Anfield, Benteke’s first trip back to the club that cast him off.
This remains one of the more baffling decisions Liverpool have made, with Rafa Benitez deciding to replace Alonso with Gareth Barry. The Englishman never came in the end, opting for Manchester City instead.
Meanwhile, Alonso was sold to Real Madrid, where he won his first league title. He also picked up a Champions League medal with Madrid, and won the World Cup and Euro 2012 as a Real Madrid player, before moving to Bayern, where he won three more league titles.