New Chelsea signing Kalidou Koulibaly will receive John Terry’s No. 26 shirt for pre-season, which has left some fans furious that the legendary defender’s number hasn’t been retired…but the club are quick to insist the numbers are NOT permanent just yet
- Kalidou Koulibaly has been handed the No. 26 pre-season shirt by Chelsea
- The number has not been worn since John Terry’s departure in 2017
- Legendary defender Terry wore the No. 26 shirt throughout his Chelsea career
- Koulibaly joined the Blues in a £34m deal from Italian side Napoli at the weekend
Blues fans believed the number, previously worn by former captain and club legend Terry, had been retired as it had not been used since the former England centre-back left in 2017.
However, Senegalese star Koulibaly, who signed from Napoli last weekend, will wear the same number as the Blues prepare for the new season, the club report official site.
Chelsea’s new signing Kalidou Koulibaly has been given the No. 26 pre-season shirt
John Terry wore the No. 26 shirt throughout his Chelsea career and it has not been used since
One of Chelsea’s all-time greatest stars, Terry wore the No. 26 shirt throughout his career with the club from 1998 to 2017.
Koulibaly also seems to like the number 26, having worn it in each of his eight seasons at Napoli.
Chelsea also announced that Raheem Sterling will wear the No 17 shirt following his arrival from Manchester City last season. The shirt was last worn by Saul Niguez last season.
Another new signing, winger Raheem Sterling, will wear the number 17 in the pre-season
Conor Gallagher, back from loan at Crystal Palace, has been given the No.15
Conor Gallagher, who is back at Chelsea after a productive loan at Crystal Palace, will wear the number 15 for the remainder of pre-season after wearing the number 38 shirt against Club America. The No.15 was last worn by Kurt Zouma, who left the club in August 2021.
After beating Club America 2-1 in the opening game, Chelsea will play more games in the United States against Charlotte and Arsenal. They then meet Udinese in Italy in the final game of the pre-season.
Chelsea fans had a mixed reaction to Koulibaly being given the No. 26 shirt temporarily.
One fan wrote: “I guess John Terry approved of Koulibaly with the number 26 imo nobody should have that number.”
Another supporter accused Koulibaly of “serious disrespect” for taking Terry’s number.
They wrote: “Naw man that’s shocking. I love Koulibaly so much but that’s a serious disrespect to our greatest player of all time. Number 4 is available…hope he will switch 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 think the No. 26 should have been retired out of respect for John Terry. However, if there’s anyone worthy of wearing this No. 26 shirt, it’s Kalidou Koulibaly. Also JT gave his blessing so nobody should really complain lol.’