The wait is almost over.
There is now less than a week to go until the January transfer window opens for business, meaning Premier League clubs will soon be set free of the leash in an attempt to bolster their squads for the second half of the campaign.
While some clubs may struggle to get any deals over the line next month due a lack of revenue because of the coronavirus pandemic, some clubs will still be able to navigate the first month of the New Year by adding new faces to the squad.
Among those clubs will be Chelsea, who were the Premier League’s headline spenders during the summer transfer window, drafting in seven new faces during a window that saw them spend more than £220million.
Though the Blues significantly bolstered their defensive ranks during the summer, signing goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, centre-back Thiago Silva and England left-back Ben Chilwell, they also added to their attacking options, signing RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, Bayer Leverkusen ace Kai Havertz and Ajax sensation Hakim Ziyech.
Despite that, ahead of the January window opening for business, it is being reported in Italy that Chelsea are still keen of adding another attacking option to their squad.
According to Sky Italy, Blues head coach Frank Lampard has discussed the prospect of signing Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland with the club’s hierarchy, as he continues to try and transform the Blues back into of the Premier League’s most feared outfits.
- It is claimed that the Blues would face stiff competition from the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the race to sign the Norway international, who is considered as one of the world’s most exciting, talented youngsters.
But if Chelsea, who already have three out-and-out senior strikers on their books in the shape of Tammy Abraham, Olivier Giroud and Werner on their books, were to land Haaland in a big-money deal, the club’s supporters would no doubt be waiting, with great excitement, to see what shirt number he would be awarded at Stamford Bridge.
With that in mind, what shirt number would the 20-year-old take upon his arrival in west London?
Though the youngster is only a few seasons into his senior career, he has already worn three different shirt numbers at senior club level and several different numbers on the international stage.
Currently, Haaland wears shirt No.9 at Dortmund after swapping from No.17 ahead of the start of this season. Prior to that, the Norwegian wore No.30 at both Salzburg and Molde.
On the international stage, Haaland has always worn shirt No.23 at senior level. But he also wore a plethora of other numbers at youth level.
Though nine, 17 and 23 are all currently taken at Stamford Bridge by Abraham, Mateo Kovacic and Billy Gilmour, respectively, No.30 is currently available, meaning Haaland could revisit his old routes at Stamford Bridge.
With all of that said, what other numbers would be available to the Dortmund ace if he was to join the Blues in January? Here, Sport Extral has taken a close look at what numbers are currently free.
Technically, the No.8 shirt at Stamford Bridge is currently owned by a Chelsea player in the shape of Ross Barkley. But with the midfielder currently on loan at Aston Villa, the Blues may be willing to hand the number to Haaland if he was to join the club in January.
Like Barkley’s No.8 shirt, No.12 is also currently owned by a Blues player out on loan in the shape of Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The central-midfielder is currently on loan at Fulham until the end of the season. Like Barkley’s shirt, though, Chelsea may be willing to hand it to a new addition, potentially Haaland.
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.
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