Antonio Valencia has explained why he decided to give up the #7 shirt and revert back to his original #25 squad number he had when he joined Manchester United.
His decision to give up the shirt was announced before the Community Shield against Wigan this year and fans were surprised to see him hand the famous #7 back, but now that he has returned to form it looks like it was the right move for him to make.
“I think it turned out to be a very good number for me when I first arrived at the club as I was just given the no.25 more or less,” he told MUTV.
“But things went really, really well. I played well wearing that shirt so I think it was a decision I came to in the summer. Maybe if I can get back to the form I showed before, why not? It is a good idea to start wearing it again.
“It had been something I had been thinking about for quite a long time. I’d been considering a change back and maybe it is psychological or maybe it is just all about a good-luck symbol, if you like.
“We get a lot of that in Ecuador, maybe superstition, and l hope it continues and still brings me more good luck this season.”
Sir Alex Ferguson shared the sentiment that Valencia’s decision was the right move as has David Moyes.
“[Antonio Valencia] has done very well,” he said.
“We got his squad number changed for him and psychologically that can make a difference to a player.
“He scored a great goal [in the 4-2 win over Leverkusen] and I said to him today he should be getting seven or eight goals. He looked at me and sort of squinted so hopefully he knows what I mean! I think he only got one or two last year.
“He’s started well.”
Whether it is removing the burden of the #7 shirt or simply the power of superstition for the Ecuadorian, Valencia now goes into the derby this Sunday in red hot form after a blistering performance against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday. Whatever the reason for his return to form, United fans hope that his form will continue at the Etihad.