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The Arsenal number 9 shirt curse and three strikers who can end it

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The number nine shirt at Arsenal is vacant again after it was confirmed that Alexandre Lacazette would be leaving the Emirates at the end of his contract in July.

The Frenchman was brought in by Arsene Wenger to be our goal machine in 2017. He has been a brilliant servant for our football club over the last five years, but it has to be said that he failed at the job he was brought in to do – be a prolific goalscorer.

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Lacazette isn’t the first number nine to struggle in front of goal for Arsenal. We have a long list of players who’ve failed with that number behind their back, and it almost feels like a curse now.

The Arsenal number nine shirt curse

Since the Premier League began in 1992, 12 different players have donned the number nine shirt for Arsenal. Apart from Nicolas Anelka in the two seasons he was with us, we can’t really say anyone else has been a prolific goalscorer.

Davor Suker and Francis Jeffers just couldn’t become the strikers we wanted them to be, while as much as we love and adore the late great Jose Antonio Reyes, he wasn’t a goal machine either.

Julio Baptista scored 10 times in his one season here as our number nine, four of which came in the same game.

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Eduardo was the next man who took on the cursed shirt, and it really looked like he was the one. Sadly, a horrific injury ruined his career at the top level.

Park Chu-young took the number nine shirt next and the less said about him the better. We all love Lukas Podolski to this day, but he couldn’t be prolific either, while Lucas Perez barely even got a chance.

Lacazette, despite all the criticism, is arguably our most successful number nine since his compatriot Anelka over two decades ago now.

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Three players who could end Arsenal’s number nine curse

Arsenal will definitely sign a new striker this summer, there’s no debate there. The number nine shirt is up for grabs now and if history is anything to go by, the player who takes that on will struggle.

However, we truly believe that if Arsenal can sign one of these three players and give him the number nine shirt, he will finally break that curse.

Gabriel Jesus:

The Manchester City star has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates and he would be a fine signing. He does everything that Lacazette did for us, and he’s a hell of a lot more clinical than the Frenchman.

Jesus dons the number nine shirt for Brazil and City, and he’d fit in perfectly as Arsenal with the same number.

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Victor Osimhen:

The 23-year-old Nigerian is up there with the best strikers of his age. He is deadly with the ball at his feet and he’s fantastic in the air as well.

Osimhen would be a truly spectacular signing for Arsenal, and we believe there’s no better player on the market for that number nine shirt at the Emirates.

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Darwin Nunez:

With Erling Haaland going to Manchester City and Kylian Mbappe staying in Paris, Nunez is arguably the most sought-out striker in world football at the moment.

The Uruguayan scored 34 goals for Benfica last season and even found the net against the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool – thus proving he has what it takes to be a big-game player.

If Arsenal can sign him and give him the number nine shirt, we believe he will end the curse!

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