David Moyes has intimated that there is every possibility Juan Mata will be given the No. 7 shirt at Manchester United next season.
The 25-year-old took the No. 8 shirt left vacant by Anderson who joined Fiorentina on loan and although Mata said he was happy with the shirt number he had chosen, Moyes didn’t rule out the prospect that he could be given it come the end of the season.
When questioned by Stewart Gardner on MUTV about Mata choosing the No. 8 shirt and whether the No. 7 shirt was considered, Moyes said: “Yes, we did think about No.7.
“I felt that it could change. Juan could take No. 7 come the end of the season. I just felt that it was the right time with Anderson leaving and it was an easy swap of numbers.”
Robin van Persie found himself in a similar position after his first year at United in that he was offered the No. 9 shirt following the departure of Dimitar Berbatov to Fulham, but the Dutchman refused to make the switch on the grounds that he didn’t want to make fans have to buy a new shirt.
“I think I’ll keep it,” Van Persie told United Review.
“I have the option to take number nine but I don’t think I will do that. I’ll stick with what is right and what feels good. Also, I don’t want to be harsh on the fans who have got number 20 on their kit. I don’t want them to have to buy a new shirt.
“It’s been a good number for me and now I can at least celebrate the 20th trophy for another year. I’ll stick with it.”
Will Mata change to No. 7 in the summer? It would seem a very strange decision because the number was available this year but he chose not to take it. A switch to No. 7 would certainly get under the skin of those fans who had already bought his shirt but he would definitely be a worthy holder of the No. 7 legacy at United.
Do you think Juan Mata should change to No. 7 at the end of the season?