Eden Hazard’s old shirt has found it’s new owner
The departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid earlier this summer left a huge hole in the club that will most probably never be filled directly, with the club somehow now having to find ways to move on without the talismanic Belgian to help us.
Something that has been left behind by Hazard however, is the number 10 shirt, something he wore from 2014 after Juan Mata left the club to join Manchester United.
Now that Hazard has left, who will the be one responsible to wear it?
Over the last few weeks, it’s been rumoured that either our new marquee signing Christian Pulisic (would be a brilliant move from a business perspective) or Callum Hudson-Odoi would adorn the shirt going forward.
Judging by last Friday’s match against Kawasaki Frontale, it appears that Pulisic could be out of the running due to wearing (whilst not confirmed as his permanent number) 24 – Gary Cahill’s old number.
As for Hudson-Odoi? We still don’t know for certain as he is continuing to recover from the achilles tendon injury he suffered at the back-end of last season. CHO currently wears 20, but could the club give the cherished shirt to him, the brightest hope from our academy in years, as part of (expected) his long-term contract extension after turning down the overtures from Bayern Munich?
Even other players such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham have been briefly mentioned as one of the players to get the shirt.
With all of this said and discussed, it appears that none of the players mentioned will be getting the shirt.
The newest owner (supposedly) of that shirt will in fact be… Willian.
In an interview with Desimpedidos, Willian claims that Chelsea has offered him the number 10 shirt and that he’s apparently decided to accept it and will switch to it this season. (Here’s the full video that where Willian talks about a host of things, including Chelsea. The sequence starts around the 6-minute mark, when they start talking about Hazard’s departure.)
Willian was Brazil’s No.10 at this summer’s CONNEMBOL Copa América (replacement for Neymar who was injured just before the tournament) and has also worn the number at both Shakhtar Donetsk and Anzhi Makhachkala, so potentially wearing that number at Chelsea next season wouldn’t be an issue for the Brazilian.
If this does indeed happen, the number 22 would become available. A number which could suitably then go to Pulisic, as he wore the number at Borussia Dortmund.
We shall see…