Chelsea players convinced vacant No 9 shirt is CURSED as Thomas Tuchel reveals NOBODY wants it after Romelu Lukaku exit

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THOMAS TUCHEL has made the extraordinary claim that the Chelsea No 9 is ‘cursed’ and that none of his players want to touch it.

The Blues kick off their season at Everton tonight without any squad member assigned the traditional centre-forward’s number and with no plans to bring in a new striker to fill the vacancy.

Romelu Lukaku, last year’s £97.5million record buy, has been loaned back to Inter Milan after becoming the latest big name to flop in the No 9 shirt, with the Belgian scoring just eight Premier League goals last term.

During Roman Abramovich’s 19-year reign at Stamford Bridge, the Blues signed SEVEN big-name strikers who wore nine on their backs — and all of them bombed.

Lukaku, Fernando Torres, Alvaro Morata, Gonzalo Higuain, Radamel Falcao, Hernan Crespo and Mateja Kezman all arrived in West London with glowing reputations, yet all fell foul of the curse which the superstitious German admits he believes in.

Boss Tuchel said: “It’s cursed, it’s cursed — people tell me it’s cursed.

“It’s not the case we are leaving it open for tactical reasons, for players to come in and take it.

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