Alexandre Lacazette will be the latest Arsenal striker to try to break the curse of the #9 shirt, with the Frenchman to take the squad number that had been, until most recently, in the possession of Lucas Perez. For the pedants among you, Lucas will take the #28 shirt, leaving Joel Campbell, currently playing at the Gold Cup, numberless. Both players are expected to be moved on, hopefully permanently, before the end of the transfer window.
The #9 shirt has been worn by Perez, Lukas Podolski, Park Chu-Young, Eduardo, Jose Antonio Reyes, Francis Jeffers and Davor Suker in the Premier League era, and all have been failures for a variety of reasons—Perez’ hairline denigrates the Arsenal, Eduardo never recovered from Martin Taylor smashing his leg in two, Jeffers was crap, Suker and Park never settled, Reyes got into a fight with Thierry Henry and was homesick, and the less said about Podolski’s performance at Wembley in the Cup run in 2014, the better. The joke, then, is that the shirt has become cursed, though Nicolas Anelka wore it at Arsenal, and was good. Maybe it’s the Curse of Anelka, and maybe it takes another French striker to break it.