With Chelsea assigning the no.10 shirt to Christian Pulisic for the 2020/21 season, we take a look at some other Blues stars who have worn that number with distinction for the club over the years.
Pulisic already uses the iconic shirt number at international level for the United States, and Chelsea fans will be hoping he can emulate the achievements of the club’s other great no.10s of the Premier League era which includes a number of Player of the Year recipients. View: Chelsea squad numbers for 2020/21
While the no.10 was worn in the past by several Chelsea legends including Bobby Tambling, Ian Hutchinson and Charlie Cooke, it was only in 1993 that it was formally allocated to one of our players following the introduction of squad numbers in the Premier League.Gavin Peacock became the first Chelsea player to use it on a full-time basis and did well with the number on his back in 1993/94, scoring in 1-0 wins at home and away against Manchester United in the league, and netting six goals in the FA Cup as we reached the final for the first time in 24 years.Two seasons later in February 1996, Peacock became the first Chelsea player to score a Premier League hat-trick in a 5-0 trouncing of Middlesbrough.
Having used no.8 after joining the Blues in 1995, Mark Hughes switched to no.10 after Peacock left a year later and enjoyed a tremendous campaign in 1996/97 when was named our Player of the Year. The Welsh forward struck up a great partnership with Gianfranco Zola and scored 14 goals, including five in the FA Cup as we lifted the famous trophy for the first time in 27 years.
He added another 12 goals the following year including crucial strikes in semi-final victories over Arsenal in the League Cup and Vicenza in the Cup Winners’ Cup as we went on to win both competitions.
Joe Cole snapped up the no.10 shirt when he joined Chelsea from West Ham United in 2003 and the mercurial midfielder went on to enjoy a magnificent seven-season spell with the Blues in which he scored 39 goals in 282 appearances. He helped us win FA Cups and League Cups and three Premier League titles. Versatile and technically gifted, Cole was at his magnificent best in the 2007/08 campaign when his inspirational displays earned him the club’s Player of the Year award as we reached the Champions League final for the first time, and narrowly missed out on the Premier League title.
Juan Mata donned the no.10 after his arrival from Valencia in 2011 and the Spanish midfielder was an influential figure for the Blues as we won the Champions League in his first season in England, setting up Didier Drogba’s late equaliser against Bayern Munich in the final.
He also played a key role for the Blues as we lifted the Europa League the following year and was so popular with Chelsea fans, he was twice voted our Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013.
Following Mata’s departure, Eden Hazard switched shirt numbers from 17 to 10 before the 2014/15 season and produced a stellar campaign as the Blues regained the Premier League title and also lifted the League Cup. The Belgian also captured several individual accolades that season. He became the first Chelsea player to win both the Footballer of the Year and PFA Players’ Player of the Year award in the same year.
After Hazard signed off from the Blues with a two-goal performance in our 2019 Europa League final victory over Arsenal, his no.10 shirt was passed on to another of the club’s attacking geniuses, Willian.
The Brazilian’s lone season with the number may not have resulted in any trophies but he assumed a leadership role in Frank Lampard’s youthful side, netting 11 goals and becoming the first player to score a Premier League goal in every month of the year.