Lacazette to break the curse of the number 9 jersey


In what felt like an eternity we finally know Lacazette’s jersey number. Fittingly,  given the type of player he is, he has been given the number 9 shirt. At Arsenal though this is no ordinary shirt number and not in a good way.  Let’s take a look back over the years on our not so successful signings who’ve donned the cursed number 9. Let’s hope Lacazette is not the latest in a sorry list.

Davor Suker

Brought in as Anelka’s replacement with much hype after his performances at the 1998 World Cup, Suker flattered to deceive. Spending just one season at Highbury and scoring 11 goals he was eventually shipped off to West Ham. Frustratingly one footed, he was, in fairness outshadowed by his fellow colleagues Henry, Bergkamp and Kanu and never replicated the form he showed at Real Madrid.

Francis Jeffers

Jeffers, all things considered could be considered as Wenger’s worst signing. Brought in amongst much fanfare as our new “fox in the box” for £8m, which at the time was a significant amount. He survived a season more than Suker but still managed less goals only finding the back of the net 8 times. At least he did the typical Arsenal thing and spend a lot of his time on the treatment table.

Jose Antonio Reyes

Yet another brought in with high hopes, a striker with good technique who was to be the long term successor to Henry. His career started well enough and for the first part of his inaugural season banging in the goals and looking like the real deal. Sadly it was all downhill from there, in his 3 seasons he bagged a total of just 23 goals and was eventually remembered for his homesickness and getting sent off in the FA Cup final (which we thankfully won in the end on penalties).

Julio Baptista 

Signed on a season long loan from Real Madrid the big Brazilian striker struggled with the pace of the Premier League. We will all remember the quadruple he got at Anfield in the League Cup (two years before Arshavin would do the same) but that’s about it really.  Just 3 premier league goals to his name.

Eduardo Da Silva

You have to feel for Eduardo. Having to indirectly fill the big shoes of Henry, like his fellow number 9’s he started off well enough. With a great first touch and at times exquisite finishing he was a joy to watch. The leg break at Birmingham was not only a massive blow to his career personally but could be looked back on our history as a whole and left us wondering what could have been. It still hurts us to this day.

Park Chu-Young

There really isn’t much to say about this one. Nobody really knows why he was signed or even how good he is. I mean, Wenger only played him for 8 premier league minutes so we can assume he wasn’t good but we never really got to see him play at all apart from a handful of Carling Cup games. The most bizarre signing Wenger has ever made.

Lukas Podolski

This one isn’t really a curse. I think I speak for most Gooners when I say that Wenger did not utilise Podolski to his potential. A fan favourite with a lethal left foot and one who scored 31 goals during his time here, he wasn’t necessarily a failure, but more of a what might have been. Wenger continually shifted him to the wing even though he was famous for his exploits as a striker when he signed for us, and was always substituted late in games. For a player with such a great record for the German national team, it just seemed off that he was so under-utilised. One of my many gripes with Arsene Wenger.

Lucas Perez

The man who’s number Lacazette is stealing. Again, this one is a bit of a mystery like Podolski. A panic buy he might have been but like Podolski he’s shown tremendous worth and never let the manager down when called upon, but already just after one season he’s had his shirt number taken and looks to be on the move having not travelled to Australia. Another question mark on Wenger here, but also one nonetheless to be cursed by the number 9 shirt.

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