It is no secret to anybody that Chelsea are desperate to add a striker to their ranks this summer.
Fresh from winning the UEFA Champions League title almost two months ago, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel, who is currently in Ireland with his squad preparing for the start of the new Premier League campaign, has made it his mission to strengthen his side’s attacking options during this summer’s transfer window.
It is understood that the German wants to add at least three new additions to his squad this summer, but a striker, in particular Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund, is his main focus.
However, Dortmund are reluctant to lose the Norway international, despite them being poised to earn a bigger transfer fee for him this year than they would next summer, as his release clause within his contract will come into effect in less than 12 months time.
Although Chelsea are willing to spend big to lure the 20-year-old to Stamford Bridge, the prospect of Haaland making the move is becoming weaker and weaker, with Dortmund refusing to throw in the towel in their attempts to keep hold of him.
With the saga threatening to drag on, Chelsea have decided to open up their options and are now expressing an interest in signing Bayern Munich goal-getter in-chief Robert Lewandowski.
According to a report by The Sun over the weekend, the Blues have identified the Poland international as a suitable alternative to Haaland and are currently considering lodging a bid worth £50million. Whether or not the bid comes, further reports have claimed that Chelsea have now held discussions with Lewandowski’s agent – Pini Zahavi – over a potential deal and that the Lewandowski camp has been ‘interested’ by the numbers the Blues have put forward.
Although Haaland remains the dream signing for almost every Chelsea supporter, the prospect of signing Lewandowski is bound to be an exciting one. He has established himself as one of the very best strikers in the world in recent years and would certainly add goals to Tuchel’s squad.
Thus, if Chelsea were to strike an agreement with Bayern this summer and successfully lure Lewandowski to Stamford Bridge, you can be rest assured that the 2021/22 home shirt with ‘Lewandowski’ on the back would be in high demand. But what number would the 32-year-old take if he was to secure a big-money switch to the Premier League?
Well, it is clear that Lewandowski, who scored a total of 48 goals in 40 appearances last term, has one preferred shirt number, that being the famous No.9. The striker has worn that number in each of the last ten seasons, dating back to the start of the 2011/12 campaign. Prior to that, he also wore numbers seven and eight.
Ever since joining Bayern in 2014, Lewandowski has always worn No.9, meaning he would most likely wish to keep that trend going at Stamford Bridge.
At this moment in time, the No.9 shirt at Chelsea is owned by academy graduate Tammy Abraham. But the former Aston Villa loanee is being heavily linked with a summer exit, meaning it is likely that he will be moved on before the end of the transfer window and allow Lewandowski to scoop the No.9 shirt if he makes the move.
As for Lewandowski’s two other former numbers – seven and eight – seven is held by N’Golo Kante and eight is available, with Ross Barkley not having been reclaimed it, following his return from his loan spell at Aston Villa.
But what other numbers could Lewandowski currently choose from if he fancied a change of heart in his new surroundings? Here, football.london has taken a close look at those that are currently available.
As outlined above, the No.8 shirt at Stamford Bridge did belong to Barkley, but it has not been reassigned to him following his loan spell at Villa. Lewandowski has worn this number in the past, meaning he may be keen to snap it up again and take a trip down memory lane.
Like Barkley’s former No.8 shirt, No.12 was also owned by a Blues player who has spent last season away from Stamford Bridge in the shape of Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The central-midfielder is, however, facing the possibility of getting a chance under Tuchel this coming season, meaning he could reclaim it once the new shirt numbers are confirmed.
The No.14 shirt is up for grabs after Fikayo Tomori sealed a permanent move to AC Milan earlier this summer. The former Derby County loanee spent the second half of last term with the Italian giants and did seal a permanent switch to the Serie A club.
Though nobody has worn shirt No.25 at Stamford Bridge since former Blues star Gianfranco Zola left the club back in 2003, the club has not officially retired the number, meaning Lewandowski could take it if he wished to.
However, with nobody having worn it for not far off 20 years, the Blues may not be so keen to let him take it he was to join the club.
Other numbers that are currently available include 18, 19, 27 and 30.
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