Mauricio Pochettino vows to break Chelsea’s No.9 curse in hunt for new forward

Mauricio Pochettino vows to break Chelsea’s No.9 curse in hunt for new forward

Mauricio Pochettino will urge Chelsea‘s next striker to take the No9 shirt after learning of the club’s curse.

New forwards including Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson have opted against taking the number deemed cursed by many in and around Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have struggled to find a top goalscorer since Diego Costa left the club in 2017, with arguably Tammy Abraham being the only striker to have performed with the No9 shirt since Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

When asked about the curse, Pochettino seemed genuinely unaware of the issue and said: “For sure, if we bring in one strike more, now I‘m going to be sure that he uses the nine and try to change the feeling and the idea that this number is not cursed.

“We need to do some things to change the energy. I will ask the kit man to bring all the nine shirts and we do some energetic thing to break it,” he jokingly added.

Pochettino also revealed Chelsea are carefully evaluating the “profile” of forward they will look to sign in the final days of the transfer window.

Arsenal’s Folarin Balogun, Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson and Lyon’s Bradley Barcola are all among the known targets.

Chelsea will also have to sell some players with Pochettino keen to drive down squad numbers to a maximum of 23 players, including goalkeepers.

Speaking ahead of Luton’s visit to Stamford Bridge on Friday night, Pochettino says he is happy to keep West Ham target Conor Gallagher but added many of his players will have suitors.

He continued: “Other clubs are working just like we are and maybe talking with some of our players. We need to be aware of that.

“At the moment, I didn’t hear anything [about Gallagher leaving] and I wasn’t informed of some situations with our players. At the moment, I don’t know anything. The club didn’t inform and the player haven’t told me anything.”