Erling Haaland to get dream Chelsea shirt number if he seals £150m transfer but on one condition
Fresh from winning the UEFA Champions League final almost a fortnight ago, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel, who will discover his side’s fixture list for the 2021/22 Premier League campaign next week, has made it his mission to strengthen his side’s attacking options during this summer’s transfer window.
In all, Tuchel is understood to want to add three new faces to the squad this summer, but a striker, and especially Haaland, is his main focus.
The Blues, like several other big-name clubs around Europe, are desperate to lay their hands on the highly-talented Norway international, who netted a staggering 41 goals in 41 appearances for Dortmund this season.
Although Chelsea will have to pay around £150million to stand any chance of luring Haaland to Stamford Bridge, it was reported earlier this week that the Leeds-born goal-getter is ‘interested’ in making the move to west London, handing Tuchel a massive boost in his hopes of strengthening his forward line with his signature.
Other strikers have been heavily linked with moves to Stamford Bridge, including Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku, but it is Haaland that Chelsea want most, as does almost every Blues supporter.
Thus, if Chelsea were to strike an agreement with Dortmund this summer and successfully lure Haaland to Stamford Bridge, you can rest assured that the 2021/22 home shirt with ‘Haaland’ on the back would be in high demand. But what number would the former Red Bull Salzburg man take if he was to secure a big-money switch to the Premier League?
Well, it would appear that Haaland, who turns 21 towards the end of next month, has several preferred options. Despite only being 20-years-old, the striker has already worn a series of different shirt numbers in his career, amounting to nine in total.
Currently, whilst playing at club level for Dortmund, he dons the No.9 shirt, whilst wearing 23 on international duty for Norway. In the past, though, he has worn 17, 19 and 30 at club level.
But considering Haaland is now one of the greatest strikers on the planet, it seems only natural that he would wish to wear No.9 at Stamford Bridge, with the No.9 shirt being renowned for being worn by some of the very best strikers of all-time.
At this moment in time, the No.9 shirt at Chelsea is held by academy graduate Tammy Abraham. But with the former Aston Villa and Bristol City loanee facing an uncertain future at Stamford Bridge this summer, it is likely that he will be sold and leave Haaland to scoop the No.9 shirt if he makes the move.
Both 17 and 19 are currently taken, whilst 30 is available, meaning the likelihood of Abraham being sold would see Haaland take his current Dortmund number.
But what other numbers could Haaland currently choose from if he fancied a change of heart in new surroundings? Here, football.london has taken a close look at those that are currently available.
Technically, the No.8 shirt at Stamford Bridge is currently owned by Ross Barkley, who has spent this season on loan at Aston Villa. But with clubs renowned for changing their shirt numbers to some degree every pre-season, and it highly likely that Barkley will leave this summer, No.8 is certain to become available.
Like Barkley’s No.8 shirt, No.12 is also currently owned by a Blues player who has spent this season away from Stamford Bridge in the shape of Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The central-midfielder is, however, another one in danger of leaving the club on a permanent basis with Lazio reportedly keen.
In a common theme, the No.14 shirt is another one still currently owned by a Chelsea player who has been out on loan, this time Fikayo Tomori. The former Derby County loanee has spent the second half of this campaign with AC Milan and is poised to soon complete a permanent switch to the Italian giants, meaning No.14 will become available. Haaland once wore No.14 when playing for Norway at Under-17 level.
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 Haaland 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 27 and 30, the latter being a shirt number Haaland wore at both Molde and Red Bull Salzburg.