New Chelsea signing Kalidou Koulibaly is given John Terry’s No 26 shirt for pre-season, leaving some fans angry that legendary defender’s number wasn’t retired… but club are quick to insist that numbers are NOT yet permanent
- Kalidou Koulibaly has been given the No 26 shirt by Chelsea for pre-season
- The number hasn’t been worn since the departure of John Terry in 2017
- Legendary defender Terry wore the No 26 shirt throughout his Chelsea career
Chelsea have given new signing Kalidou Koulibaly the iconic No 26 shirt for pre-season.
Blues fans believed that the number, which was previously worn by club legend John Terry, had been retired as it has not been in use since Terry’s departure in 2017.
However, Koulibaly, who signed from Napoli last weekend, will wear the No 26 shirt for pre-season, as reported by the club’s official website.
New Chelsea signing Kalidou Koulibaly has been given the No 26 shirt for pre-season
John Terry wore the No 26 shirt throughout his Chelsea career and it hasn’t been used since
Terry, one of Chelsea’s greatest ever stars, wore the No 26 shirt throughout his career at the club from 1998 to 2017.
Koulibaly also appears to be fond of the No 26, having worn it for each of his eight seasons at Napoli.
Chelsea also revealed that Raheem Sterling will wear the No 17 shirt in pre-season following his arrival from Manchester City. The shirt was most recently worn by Saul Niguez last campaign.
Another new signing, winger Raheem Sterling, will wear the No 17 during pre-season
Conor Gallagher, who is back from his loan spell at Crystal Palace, has been given No 15
Conor Gallagher, who is back at Chelsea after his productive loan spell at Crystal Palace, will wear No 15 for the rest of pre-season after sporting the No 38 shirt against Club America. No 15 was last worn by Kurt Zouma, who left the club in August 2021.
After beating Club America 2-1 in their opening friendly, Chelsea will play further matches in the United States against Charlotte and Arsenal. They will then face Udinese away in Italy in their final pre-season fixture.
There was a mixed reaction from Chelsea fans to Koulibaly temporarily being given the No 26 shirt.
One fan wrote: ‘Guessing John Terry approved Koulibaly having number 26, imo no one should have that number.’
Another supporter accused Koulibaly of ‘serious disrespect’ for taking Terry’s number.
They wrote: ‘Nah man that’s shocking. I love Koulibaly so much, but that’s a serious disrespect to our best player ever. Number 4 is available … hope he will change for the real season . Sorry @JohnTerry26’.
Another fan suggested that the No 26 shirt should have been retired but added that Koulibaly deserves to wear it.
They wrote: ‘Personally, I feel like the no26 should’ve been retired out of respect for John Terry. However, if there’s anyone that’s worthy of wearing that no26 shirt, it’s Kalidou Koulibaly. Also, JT gave his blessing so no one should really be complaining lol.’
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