Chelsea have announced their squad numbers for the forthcoming 2023/24 season.
Marquee signing Christopher Nkunku has been handed the No 18 but it will be a while before the French marksman dons the shirt as he recently underwent knee surgery. Fellow new boys Nicolas Jackson, Axel Disasi and Robert Sanchez are to wear 15, 2 and 31, respectively.
However, there’s no room on the list for Callum Hudson-Odoi, Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech, all of whom sat out the Blues’ recent U.S. pre-season tour squad. They’ve also been excluded from Chelsea’s first-team squad with all expected to be moved on from the club this summer.
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Lukaku’s No 9 — which is seen by many observers and supporters as cursed — and Ziyech’s No 22 haven’t been given away while Hudson-Odoi’s No 20 is now in the possession of Andrey Santos.
Several players, meanwhile, have changed numbers after the exits of former teammates. Raheem Sterling (formerly No 17) takes No 7 from N’Golo Kante, Enzo Fernandez (formerly No 5) takes from Mateo Kovacic and Mykhailo Mudryk (formerly No 15) takes No 10 from Christian Pulisic.
Noni Madueke (formerly No 31) and Marc Cucurella (formerly 32) obtain No 11 and No 3, both of those shirts vacant following Timo Werner and Marcos Alonso leaving Stamford Bridge last summer.
Young talents Lesley Ugochukwu, Ian Maatsen and Malo Gusto are given the No 16, No 29 and No 27 shirts, respectively. Cesare Casadei and Angelo Gabriel were not given numbers as the expectation is they’ll be sent on loan.
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Armando Broja (formerly No 18) takes Mason Mount’s No 19, Carney Chukwuemeka (formerly No 30) takes Sterling’s No 17 and Benoit Badiashile (formerly No 4) takes Fernandez’s No 5.
Levi Colwill, who penned a new contract at Chelsea recently, has taken over the No 26 shirt, last worn by Kalidou Koulibaly and most famously by club legend and former skipper John Terry.