ALVARO MORATA has revealed his Chelsea team-mates begged him not to take the ‘cursed’ No.9 shirt when he arrived.
The Spaniard completed a summer move from Real Madrid in a deal that could rise to £70million.
Morata was immediately handed the No.9 jersey and tasked with leading the line for the Blues following Diego Costa’s exit.
But the shirt hasn’t always favoured those wearing the famous number in front of goal.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink netted 70 goals in 136 Premier League appearances during his four-year stint but no No.9 shirt wearer has found the net that regularly since his time in west London.
Mateja Kezman, Khalid Boulahrouz, Steve Sidwell, Franco Di Santo and Fernando Torres all struggled to shine at Stamford Bridge, while Radamel Falcao netted just one goal in 10 league appearances during an injury-hit 2015/16 on loan from Monaco.
But Morata finally looks to have broken the curse after netting seven goals in all competitions for Antonio Conte’s side, including a hat-trick against Stoke in September.
However, the 25-year-old has revealed he may not have ended up with the No.9 shirt had he listened to his team-mates when he first arrived in England.
“That was one of the first things I was told after turning up here,” Morata told FourFourTwo.
“Even the lads were begging me not to take that shirt because it was cursed, but I wanted it.
“I’ve done a couple of little things to avoid the bad luck that the shirt supposedly brings.
“Can I tell you what I’ve done? No chance. If I did that, the curse will come back!”
Morata will be hoping luck his on his side when Chelsea host Manchester United on Sunday (4.30pm).
Revealed: New AC Milan star snubbed summer Chelsea move
According to several reports in Italy (as quoted by ilmilanista), AC Milan star Franck Kessie was close to joining Premier League Champions Chelsea before he ended up at San Siro this past summer.
Kessie, who emerged as one of Atalanta’s best and the Serie A’s most influential emerging players last season, has not enjoyed his start to life at AC Milan under Vincenzo Montella. Things could have been very different for the Ivorian though, if would have joined Chelsea, who were after him this past summer and the club from London even held a host of talks with the utility man in an attempt to acquire his services from Atalanta. Once Kessié decided to join the Serie A giants, Chelsea signed Tiemoue Bakayoko instead.
Milan swooped in for him and signed him on a two-year long loan-deal with an obligation to buy him in the future. The rossoneri are currently eighth in the Serie A and have endured a tough start to the season, with Montella’s job already under tough scrutiny.