Chelsea didn't confirm squad numbers for new signings Kepa Arrizabalaga and Mateo Kovacic when they arrived at Stamford Bridge this week from Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid respectively, which means there are still a handful of options for each options for each player.


After seeing his £71m signing rushed through, Kepa is set to make his debut immediately when Chelsea face Huddersfield in their Premier League opener on Saturday.

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The number one shirt he wore at San Mames last season is currently occupied by Willy Caballero at Chelsea. But 13, the number he was given in Spain's World Cup squad and is traditionally associated with goalkeepers, is free following Thibaut Courtois' exit to Real Madrid.


Another number of interest in 26, worn by Kepa for Bilbao during the 2016/17 season when he established himself as the club's first choice stopper.


That jersey is available at Chelsea, although it has been vacant since legend John Terry left the club in 2017. Taking on that shirt might be seen as increasing the pressure, but level-headed Kepa has already said his transfer fee won't do that, so a number is unlikely to faze him.

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By his own admission, Kovacic isn't fit enough to play after only recently getting back to work after a delayed summer break and doing minimal training at Real Madrid because he wanted to leave. If he won't be playing right away it means he doesn't have to be assigned a number quite so quickly, which potentially opens up 23 for him.


It was the number he wore for Real Madrid last season, having switched from another shirt. It therefore clearly holds some significance for him and could become available for this season if current occupant Michy Batshuayi completes a loan move to Valencia.


Alternatively, the 16 that he previously wore for Real is available at Chelsea, while 17 is another option. Unfortunately for Kovacic, the 8 he usually wears at international level for Croatia and had previously occupied for Dinamo Zagreb is taken at Chelsea by Ross Barkley.

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He wore 29 and later 10 during his Inter career, which are used at Chelsea by Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard respectively. If he was feeling adventurous, Kovacic could actually take 9, which has been worn by Steve Sidwell, Khalid Boulahrouz and Franco di Santo in the past.