It was announced on Tuesday morning, as reported by the Daily Express, that Arsenal’s marquee summer signing Alexandre Lacazette will be handed the number nine jersey ahead of next season.
Lacazette – who joined the Gunners in a club record deal worth £46.5 million last week – will take the shirt over from Arsenal flop Lucas Perez for their first pre-season match against Sydney on Thursday.
But the number nine jersey has become infamous for all of the wrong reasons over the past two decades at the Emirates, and Arsenal fans will hope that Lacazette can finally break the long, unwanted curse.
The Boot Room looks at some of the shockers to have embraced the number nine shirt in the past…
One of England’s brightest young talents as a 16-year-old at Everton, he announced himself on the Premier League scene by scoring 18 goals in 49 league games – earning himself a switch to Arsenal.
Better known as the ‘fox in the box’, Arsene Wenger splashed out £8 million to bring him to the club but his career only flopped from there as Jeffers managed just four goals in 22 games across three years.
Jose Antonio Reyes
Arriving at Arsenal mid-way through their unbeaten season a lot was expected of a young Reyes after bursting on to the scene in La Liga with Sevilla and he lived up to the hype for a short period of time.
Yet as soon as this 49-match unbeaten run came to an end against Manchester United his form drastically spiralled downhill, with Reyes beginning to feel home-sick and seeking a return to Spain.
After his Arsenal career tailed off after a bright start – managing just 23 goals over a two-and-a-half year period – he eventually got his wish and went on-loan to Real Madrid, moving to Atletico a year after.[interaction id=”5964c144d6d87f2d0f19f20f”]
For somebody of his calibre – even to this day, he’s still remains on the periphery of the German national squad – there was something that didn’t quite click at the Emirates, with first-team action sporadic.
Despite being a firm fan favourite during his three-year stint there was evidently something about him that Wenger didn’t like, or agree with, rarely giving him an extended run of games.
Podolski still managed to score 31 times in 81 appearances during his time at Arsenal, endeared himself to supporters with his attitude, but he hardly set the world alight as a number nine should.
To say that the Brazilian was a complete flop at Arsenal would be completely unfair, showing an awful lot of potential as a striker up until the moment he horrifically broke his leg against Birmingham City in 2008.
Four goals and three assists in just seven appearances until this point had given Arsenal hope of finally breaking the curse with a quality goal-scorer, but he was never the same once he returned.
It was miraculous enough that he could continue playing football after his injury and his lengthy spell spent on the side-lines, but his pre-injury form failed to materialise before a move over to Ukraine.
The less said about this one, the better.
In one of the most bizarre signings in recent history the South Korean was half-way through a medical at French side Lille before disappearing and, all of a sudden, being announced at Arsenal the next day.
Even more bizarre was the fact that he only made one appearance in a Gunners’ shirt during his woeful three-year spell at the club, being awarded an eight-minute cameo role against Manchester United.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Conecta Abogados.