Joe Cole warns Higuain of Chelsea’s number ‘9’ curse

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 30: Gonzalo Higuain of Chelsea looks on during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Chelsea FC at Vitality Stadium on January 29, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Former Chelsea player Joe Cole, explained why Gonzalo Higuain has a massive task ahead of him as he has to deal with Chelsea’s number ‘9’ curse.

In major football clubs, there is always a cursed number that has to be dealt with like Gonzalo Higuain needs to do, former player Joe Cole wanted to explain why wearing the Blues number ‘9’ jersey will be so complicated for him.

This number which the Argentine striker has decided to wear on his new chance at life for Chelsea FC, is shrouded in mystery because the previous four strikers who have worn it had a terrible time with the club.

The mythical striker’s position is one that needs to be taken care off almost perfectly, Didier Drogba is the perfect example of what a great Chelsea striker should be but he isn’t part of the curse because he always wore the number ’11’ jersey.

One could argue that said curse had its beginnings after Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink played for the Blues, the Dutchman played for Chelsea between 2000 and 2004 alongside Gianfranco Zola and scored an impressive 88 goals in 177 caps for the club.

Since then, that number ‘9’ shirt has gone through some infamous moments and made the players who wore it suffer during their time at the club.

After Hasselbaink, Mateja Kezman played for Mourinho’s Chelsea for a season and scored 7 goals in 41 matches.

Argentine Hernan Crespo followed with only 25 goals in 73 matches with the Blues’ number ‘9’ shirt.

Khalid Boulahrouz played there another year and never scored a goal in the 20 matches he played for the club, Steve Sidwell only scored one in 25 matches a year later.

After that, Argentine Franco Di Santo played 16 games and wasn’t able to score a single goal.

The fans were quite angry for this inexplicable misfortune, they wanted something better and luck seemed to change after Chelsea signed Fernando Torres from Liverpool for €60 million.

While ‘El Niño’ did help Chelsea win the UEFA Champions League in 2012 with his performance against Barcelona, he never lived up to the expectations after scoring only 45 goals in 172 matches.

After Fernando, there was a short-lived period in which Radamel Falcao played for the Blues and only scored once in 12 appearances.

We now come back to the present where Alvaro Morata wore the infamous shirt for 72 matches, but only managed to score 24 goals during his time there.

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When Gonzalo Higuain agreed to sign his new contract with Chelsea, everybody was already having second thoughts about the decision the club made.

Because not only does the club carry a horrible curse with their strikers, but ‘Pipita’ himself has dealt with a personal curse of not being able to score important goals during international matches.

Whether it’s the Champions League at club level or any competition for Argentina, ‘Pipita’ seems destined to be a league type fo striker who can only deliver domestically.

His start of the season last Wednesday after Chelsea got smashed 4-0 by Bournemouth is not a great sign, but people like Joe Cole are hoping that he can turn things around quickly.

“It’s a very logical signing. Chelsea were playing with a false nine and they needed a number nine and he is just that – he’s a goalscorer,” said Cole on an interview with The Telegraph.

“It’s what they need and it’s what Higuain needs, so it suits everybody involved.”

“One thing is for sure, you have to be the finished article to wear the Chelsea number nine shirt because it’s heavy.”

“And he has played for some big clubs, so it shouldn’t be a problem. It will just be how quickly he settles in, but the great thing is Sarri knows him, knows what he’s about as a person and he knows the system. So it ticks boxes.”

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