The Belgian winger was handed the No.11 shirt after Ryan Giggs, who made the shirt his own over a 24 year period, retired as a footballer in 2014.
Since then, however, Januzaj has struggled to thrive under the shirt’s enormous weight having made only 28 appearances in the past two years. As a result, the 21-year-old has been handed the No.15 shirt whilst Martial, who enjoyed a groundbreaking debut season at Old Trafford switches from No.9 to No.11.
Being deprived of a shirt that possesses such a monumental amount of historical value is pretty dilapidating. However, in this case, it is also justified.
Januzaj has failed to reproduce the attacking zeal and trickery of the 2013/14 season that saw him earn the shirt in the first place. Since then, the youngster’s performances have been hallmarked by a lack of physicality and execution. The No.11 shirt, it seems, has weighted too heavily on the Belgian’s shoulders.
That is why Martial is the ideal recipient of the coveted shirt: in his first season at Old Trafford, where he was written off before kicking a ball, the 20-year-old displayed no signs of feeling any sort of pressure. He will wear the No.11 shirt with the same nonchalant countenance as always, eviscerating right backs in a way that honours the legacy left by Giggs himself.