Arsenal are due to complete the signing of Leicester City centre forward Jamie Vardy in the coming days, with the England international believed to be in the process of agreeing personal terms with the club.
The 29-year-old is set to join the club on the back of the season of his career – scoring 24 goals as he led the Foxes to Premier League glory in a shock season.
With Vardy to join, questions, as always, have arisen about what shirt number he will wear once he joins.
There can only be one number that he wears.
At the end of the 2014/15 season, Lukas Podolski left the club and vacated the no.9 shirt – it since has yet to be taken. At Leicester, he dons the same number and will be expected to take it when he goes from blue to red.
But how does the ex-Fleetwood Town star weigh up against Arsenal’s previous no.9’s? Gooner Talk take a look at the player’s to have worn the shirt since the turn of the century.
Davor Suker (1999 – 2000)
The retired Croatian centre forward stayed at Arsenal for just one season but scored 10 times in his 15 starts, however, put the ball in the back of the net just once in 24 substitute appearances.
While he is fondly remembered by Gunners supporters, he joined the club at a time where he was competing for a place up top against Thierry Henry.
Francis Jeffers (2001 – 2003)
England’s greatest ever striker at youth level failed to light north London up at a time of difficult transition.
He showed flashes of talent as a substitute but having scored just once in the 2003/04 season, was sent out on loan to Everton the following where he – despite playing 18 times in the Premier League, scored just twice (in the League Cup) and was sold off to Charlton Athletic.
Definitely not the club’s best ever no.9.
Jose Antonio Reyes (2003 – 2006)
Once Arsenal’s most expensive signing – Reyes had his highs and his inconsistent lows.
The Spaniard joined at just 20-years-old and was an exciting winger, had a great left foot and was willing to take players on.
He scored 23 goals in his 110 appearances for the club, with his most notable coming against Chelsea where he scored a brace to knock them out of the FA Cup.
Julip Baptista (2006 – 2007)
After Reyes departed, Baptista joined the club on a loan deal but failed to impress Arsene Wenger enough to convince him into a permanent signing.
The Brazilian’s most valued game in red was undoubtedly the four goals he struck against Liverpool in the Carling Cup – a stunning performance.
Eduardo (2007 – 2010)
One of the club’s deadliest ever goalscorers?
It may sound like an exaggeration but Eduardo was a proper, proper finisher in front of goal.
It’s just a shame that his years at the club were spent dominated by injury problems.
In 2008, the Brazilian-born Croatian international suffered a torrid leg injury against Birmingham City and after that, was only able to feature ‘now and again’ – a shame because he could have seriously improved his 21 goals in 67 appearances.
Park Chu-Young (2011 – 2012)
The signing of the South Korean striker must still confuse people to this day.
He scored a few goals for Monaco and somehow found himself at Arsenal in 2011, he scored once in seven games.
Not much more to say on this one.
Lukas Podolski (2012 – 2015)
Certainly the most respectable name on the list of no.9’s for quite some time.
The German striker had a lethal left foot and scored bags of great goals goals – ending his totals at 31 in 82.
However, Podolski was often pushed out wide to his disappointment to accommodate Olivier Giroud up top, who in fairness has done pretty well since joining.
The move to the left side of the attack meant that he was out of position and often criticised for his lack of defensive responsibility but that left foot scored some absolute bangers.
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