Michael Owen, Antonio Valencia, Angel di Maria and Memphis Depay. Four players have donned the fabled Manchester United No.7 shirt since Cristiano Ronaldo joined Real Madrid back in 2009, none of them have lived up to the expectations that come with wearing it.
Di Maria was the one out of those four who we all felt really could leave a legacy behind but all he did was shed his skin on the floor before slithering off to Paris St Germain with his tail firmly between his legs.
So, heading into the 2017/18 Premier League there is one notable number that is free in Man United’s squad which needs to be filled this summer.
Could Antoine Griezmann be the first player since Ronaldo to really sprinkle some magic on the No.7 shirt which the likes of David Beckham, George Best and Ronaldo made synonymous with some of United fans’ best memories. I certainly hope so.
He’s certainly got everything needed to succeed and has that magic quality about him. Imagine next year with Paul Pogba chipping a through ball to Griezmann before he squares it for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to prod into an empty net? Griezmann could be the missing piece in Jose Mourinho‘s attacking jigsaw at United.
And according to reports from the Manchester Evening News, sources close to Griezmann feel a deal for him to join United is close to completion and is more of a formality at this stage than anything else. That has certainly upped excitement levels about the prospect of Griezmann joining.
The No.7 shirt has lost a little bit of its lure after the last four holders of it but at some stage the right player will take it on and bring it back to its best. Maybe that will be Griezmann and next year we’ll get to see some real No.7 magic back at Old Trafford.