Michael Owen, Antonio Valencia and Angel di Maria may have been three extremely underwhelming No.7’s at Manchester United but the shirt still holds resonance among fans.
With Di Maria walking out of the club, the No.7 shirt is going to be available once again this summer so we’ve taken a look at players who could take up the famous shirt now that it is free.
There is one stand-out candidate in the current squad and that is Memphis Depay. He wore the No.7 shirt at PSV last season and it’s a number he was very proud to wear in Holland but nobody expected the opportunity to arise for him to wear it at Man United.
Now that it is, Memphis looks like the perfect player to walk in and take on the responsibility. You almost get the feeling he would be frustrated if he didn’t get it because pressure is something he actively pursues, it seems to drive him to improve and do better.
The added pressure on the No.7 shirt was too heavy for Valencia but Memphis wants to be the centre of attention, he wants to entertain and, most of all, he wants to succeed.
Another couple of candidates in the current squad are Ander Herrera and Juan Mata. Not since the days of Bryan Robson have United had a central midfielder who wore No.7 but Herrera shares a lot of the same tenacious character which earned Robson the Captain Marvel nickname. We’re not saying he’s the new coming of Robson but you can see the similarities in their style.
As for Mata, he gets what it means to play for United and came through adversity last year to cement himself in the starting XI. He’s not going anywhere and Mata is a real fans’ favourite but whether he’d be suitable for the No.7 is a different matter (pun intended) altogether.
Other than current players, an imminent arrival of Pedro Rodriguez from FC Barcelona means he could be a potential candidate. As it happens, the Spanish side have this morning announced that Pedro has once again been given the No.7 shirt but for how long remains to be seen.
One potential option which some may feel is suitable after the recently poor No.7’s is for it to be left empty for a season in order for somebody to earn it.
With only three days until the Tottenham Hotspur game, United need to announce their squad numbers pretty soon but who will be chosen as the new No.7?
We want to know your view, so please cast your vote here.