Christopher Nkunku’s choice of shirt number at Chelsea is yet to be confirmed, but there is a possibility that he may take over from N’Golo Kante. The summer transfer window has brought significant changes to Stamford Bridge, which has left fans facing decisions not only about new kits but also about the players who will wear them.
Apart from the delay in kit release due to the absence of a confirmed sponsor, up to 15 first-team players, including popular assets like Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount, are expected to be sold.
N’Golo Kante has already been confirmed to be leaving, while Kai Havertz is set to join the team from another London club.
As a result, the squad will be comprised mostly of new January signings and young players, making it uncertain as to which player’s name fans should choose for their shirts.
Another factor adding to the uncertainty is the potential change in squad numbers.
With the influx of new players, popular and trendy numbers such as No.9, No.11, No.1, and the club’s iconic No.26 will likely become available.
One player who will need to make a decision about his number is Christopher Nkunku, the Frenchman who recently joined Mauricio Pochettino’s squad as the second new addition after Kendry Paez. Nkunku, who wore the number 18 at RB Leipzig, may have to choose a different number since it is currently taken by Armando Broja.
The No.9 shirt may also become available if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaves later in the summer.
Nkunku has not worn the No.9 shirt in club football before, and its history at Chelsea, with a number of high-profile failures associated with it, may make him hesitant to choose it.
He has previously worn numbers 10, 11, and 14 during his time at Paris Saint-Germain. The departure of Kante, who has worn the No.7 shirt since his arrival in 2016, opens up the possibility for other players to don this stylish number, and Nkunku may seize the opportunity.
It would be interesting to see if other current members of the team decide to change their shirt numbers, particularly the January arrivals, as a clearout of big numbers, including No.8 and No.19, is expected due to their likely departure.
Although Chelsea is not expected to be heavily active in the transfer market, these potential changes in shirt numbers add an element of intrigue to the upcoming season.