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Watch: Koulibaly asks Terry for Chelsea's No.26 shirt in phone call

4:59 PM GMT 01/08/2022
Kalidou Koulibaly Chelsea 2022.
The club legend has given the new Blues centre-back his blessing to take his number

Kalidou Koulibaly has shared a video to social media of him asking Chelsea legend John Terry whether he could wear his famous No.26 shirt at Stamford Bridge.

Terry used the number throughout his 19-year Blues career, during which time he captained the club to five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and a Champions League triumph in 2012 - though he missed the final itself through suspension. The defender also received a guard of honour in the 26th minute during his final appearance for the club.

Since Terry's departure in 2017, no other player has worn No.26, but Koulibaly will inherit the digits following his summer transfer from Napoli.

What Terry said to Koulibaly about taking the No.26 shirt

In a video dated July 15 - one day before his official unveiling as a Chelsea player - the former Napoli defender can be seen on the phone with Terry.

Koulibaly asks whether the No.26 shirt, which the Senegal international used at Napoli, has been retired at Stamford Bridge, to which Terry replies: "The 26 was very special to me, I really appreciate you calling.

“It’s no problem for me for you to take it, absolute pleasure. I wish you well because I know how important the number was for me and I’ve seen you wear 26 as well.

"My pleasure mate, I give you the 26.”

Terry then adds: "No pressure mate. You go and keep winning trophies for us"

Will Chelsea sign another centre-back?

Koulibaly became Chelsea's second signing of the transfer window last month when he completed a £34m ($41m) switch from Napoli, arriving shortly after former Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling arrived.

The Blues have been heavily linked with further reinforcements this summer though, reportedly expressing their interest in Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana in recent weeks.

Chelsea could also make a move for Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella, with fellow suitors Manchester City said to be stepping back from the deal.

They did, however, miss out on long-term target Jules Kounde, who has instead signed for Barcelona.