New Chelsea signing blocked from dream shirt number by Premier League

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Chelsea’s new signing Djordje Petrovic will wear an iconic shirt number after being unable to use his first choice due to Premier League rules. The former MLS goalkeeper will be filling some big shoes when he takes over Cesar Azpilicueta’s 28 shirt after “liking the look” of the number.

Azpilicueta was first awarded the shirt number when he signed for the Blues back in 2012. A reported £7 million fee was agreed with Marseille in what would prove to be a bargain.

The Spainiard has since moved on from Chelsea and has signed for Atletico Madrid after 11 years in West London. The 34-year-old will be fondly remember after helping the side win two Premier League titles, the Champions League, two Europa League trophies and an FA Cup.

Petrovic will be hoping to make a new legacy in the shirt after signing for an initial £12.5 million fee from New England Revolution. The Serbian impressed during his two years in MLS, keeping 14 clean sheets in 43 regular season games for the side.

The shot-stopper will now play back-up to ex-Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, who was also signed this summer. However, Petrovic won’t be able to keep the shirt number that brought him much success in MLS.

“I’m very happy to wear number 28 and I know it means a lot at this club,” Petrovic said after signing for the Blues. “I asked for number 99 originally but I was told it was too high for the Premier League.

“I saw what was available after that and I liked the look of the No.28 jersey.”

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This isn’t the first time that the Premier League has refused to grant a specific number for a player. Back in 2017 Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanchez asked for the number 85 while on loan at Swansea from Bayern Munich.

The league rejected his request leaving him to take the number 35 shirt instead.

Chelsea fans will have to watch their latest signing sit on the bench tonight when the Blues face AFC Wimbledon at Stamford Bridge in the EFL Cup. The West London side has won the competition five times in their history, with the last win coming back in 2015 which saw a certain Cesar Azpilicueta feature in the 2-0 final win against Tottenham Hotspur.

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