Many expected Robin van Persie to take up the vacant No 9 shirt at Manchester United but the Dutchman has revealed that he is going to keep the No 20 shirt because of how well his first season went and because he doesn’t want to force fans to fork out for a new shirt (what a gent).
The No 9 shirt has been vacant since Dimitar Berbatov’s departure in the summer and now that van Persie has decided to not take it up, someone else will soon don the same shirt that greats like Charlton, McClair and Cole have all worn.
But who should get it?
Javier Hernandez: With 48 goals in 114 appearances and a Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year Award to his name, Hernandez has asserted himself as a real fans favourite in his three seasons at the club. It is hard to like him – an infectious smile, a faultless attitude and an insatiable hunger for goals make him such a danger (just ask Chelsea).
For me, he is the most natural finisher the club has had since van Nistelrooy and a great contender to take on the No 9 shirt. If United showed that sort of faith in him, I think it could bring even more out of the Mexican magician.
Danny Welbeck: Last season, Welbeck netted 12 goals in his first full season at United and he struck a fantastic partnership with Rooney up front. This year, he has only netted two goals but on the whole, has had an even better season that was rightly awarded with a PFA Young Player of the Year nomination.
Welbeck has showed an all-round element to his game that has seen forced wide in order to get game time and he has played very well there in an unnatural position to him.
Danny has been at the club since he was nine years old. He lives and breaths Manchester United and he is the future of the club, so giving him the No 9 shirt would be a dream come true for him given his desire to forge a career out at United and a show of confidence from the club in him by giving him the shirt would certainly help to bring even more out of him as a player.
Wilfried Zaha: Manchester United have already wrapped up the signing of Zaha in a reported £15 million deal and a lot is expected of him when he arrives.
This year, he has torn the Championship to pieces and was named the PFA Player of the Year. Whilst the No 9 shirt is closely associated with an out-and-out striker, numbers don’t correlate to positions anymore and Zaha is certainly a contender.
Given how poor our wingers have been this year, the 20-year-old is destined to get plenty of opportunities to impress with the first squad and if he was given the No 9 shirt, it would give him the biggest of mental boosts before he had even kicked a ball that could help him hit the ground running at Old Trafford.
A new signing…Last night, Ferguson confirmed that ‘everything is in place’ for United to make a big money signing this summer and given the fact that van Persie was signed last year, anything is possible.
With the likes of Lewandowski, Falcao, Bale and Ronaldo linked to us, there is a real buzz around whether United will once again make a marquee signing to help give the squad an extra lift despite winning the Premier League.
And if a new marquee player was to come in, what better number to give him than the archetypal No 9 shirt?
Who do you think should have Manchester United’s No 9 shirt next season?