Chelsea to hand Willian’s No.10 shirt to Christian Pulisic

Frank Lampard is set to reward Christian Pulisic for a fine maiden campaign at Chelsea by handing him the No.10 shirt following Willian’s summer exit to Arsenal.

The Brazilian had only inherited the jersey from Eden Hazard a year ago when the Belgian moved to Real Madrid for a club-record fee, though he opted to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of his contract and moved to north London on a free transfer.

That has created a vacancy for the iconic No.10 shirt, which has also been worn by the likes of Joe Cole and Mark Hughes in addition to Willian and Hazard.

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Now, according to The Athletic, Pulisic will become the latest player to take on the No.10 mantle, with the American having delivered some superb performances in his first season with Chelsea to earn the honour.

The decision will be a blow for Callum Hudson-Odoi, though, who has always sought the shirt number – and even goes by ‘Calteck10’ on social media – and was offered the No.10 jersey by Bayern Munich when the German club were pushing to sign him.

Pulisic spent last season wearing the No.22 shirt, which will now be handed to summer arrival Hakim Ziyech – and he was already spotted in it during Chelsea’s friendly against Brighton.

The Moroccan wore the No.22 during his first season at Ajax and switched back to it two years ago when Dusan Tadic was handed the No.10 shirt.

Fellow new recruit Timo Werner, meanwhile, wore the No.11 during the friendly against Brighton and is expected to keep the shirt for the new season, with the jersey having become free after Pedro left the club at the end of his contract.

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The No.11 was most famously worn by Didier Drogba during his time at Chelsea, while Oscar, Damien Duff, Boudewijn Zenden and Dennis Wise have all also worn it in the Premier League era.

Kai Havertz, meanwhile, has worn the No.29 throughout his career – and again has it as part of his social media handles – and is believed to have requested the number should it’s current occupant, Fikayo Tomori, complete a move away from Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are expected to officially confirm all their new squad numbers before the start of the new Premier League season, which begins on Monday away to Brighton.

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