We are in that period of the year where people are looking to purchase the new kit for the new season. No kit is complete without a name and number at the back. Most people choose to place the name and number of their favourite present hero, others remain loyal to past heroes whilst others personalise it according to their name. Van Persie #20 has remained the top selling shirt for the second year running amongst all Premier League players. A full list may be seen here.
This year United supporters will be a bit more hesitant to purchase their new kit following a number of important and iconic numbers being left redundant. #7 and #9 have been redundant for awhile, #3, #5 and #11 have now joined the list. Supporters are waiting to see whether these numbers will be used before buying the new kit.
Evra had been wearing this kit but previously Phil Neville and Dennis Irwin had worn it. The clear candidate for this kit number is Luke Shaw. During the preseason tour in America, the nineteen year old wore the #28 shirt however the club claimed that the numbers on our are not the final numbers.
Rumour is that when the shirts were printed, Evra was still destined to be a United player come next season thus Shaw was asked to wear another shirt number.
I would be surprised is Shaw does not wear the #3 shirt. An newcomer (for example Blind) might be another contender.
Another great servant left the club this summer – Rio Ferdinand. Apart from becoming one of the world’s best defender wearing this number he also manage to create a brand using this number – the #5 brand which he uses for everything he does.
A much needed incoming defender will most probably be given this number unless it is given to Chris Smalling. The #5 would suite Hummels pretty well, however, it seems that he will remain in Dortmund having just been appointed Club Captain.
The legendary #7 has not been so legendary following Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Real Madrid. It was taken up initially by Michael Owen who unluckily despite scoring a derby winning goal against Manchester City in his first Mancunian derby he spent most of his time in the physio’s room rather than the training field. He was followed by Antonio Valencia who had just been voted United’s player of the season. It didn’t take long before he asked to revert back #25 as he was feeling under too much pressure wearing #7.
This number has been vacant for a season or two now. Because of it’s legendary status it deserves a big name player or youngster with immense potential (such as was the case for Ronaldo) to be given this number.
It was rumoured that Arturo Vidal has been promised the #7 shirt should he join United. Even though the #7 is normally given to a right winger, it would not be the first time to be given to a Central Midfielder. The last in this species to wear this number was a certain Bryan Robson also known as Captain Fantastic. The nickname shows the class of the player.
Another contender could be Adnan Januzaj. The Belgian youngster who was one of the few shining lights from last season. He has already become a fans favourite and wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes United new ‘poster boy’.
A number which has been vacant since Berbatov’s departure from United and previously worn by Louis Saha and second all-time Premier League goalscorer Andy Cole.
This number was offered twice to Van Persie. First, when he joined the Club but opted for #20 as a signal of intent of winning the 20th Championship, and a second time in his second season, however he felt it would be unfair for supporters who had bought his #20 shirt the year before and thus opted to remain with the same number.
Van Persie remains a candidate for this number however, having just uploaded an image on social media with a big emphasis on #20 it looks like he will not change.
For some strange reason, I see James Wilson as a perfect candidate for this role. Having made his debut last season and introducing himself with a brace vs Hull City, he was left back in Manchester and was not included in the tour squad. His response? He scored 4 goals in the first competitive match for the U21s against none other than City. This win lead to United winning the Manchester Senior Cup for the fourth consecutive season. You may see his goals here. On 1:20 Wilson scores a superb goal following a solo-run. This kid appears to be special.
It has been a while since this number had been vacant. A certain Ryan Giggs had worn it with pride for more than 25 years. The Welsh Wizard hung his boots at the tail-end of last season to become Van Gaal’s Assistant Manager and by so doing vacating the #11 shirt.
It has been rumoured that the megastore are suggesting pursuers of the Januzaj short to wait a little while longer since he is expected to be given a new number. Being a natural left-sided player, the #11 shirt would suite him somewhat well. In my opinion, the young Belgian will be wearing either #7 or #11 next season.
We are rumoured to be interested in Angel Di Maria. He would be another player who would represent a decent enough successor to raid and terrorise the left-flank.
By the end of August all these question marks will be resolved. More importantly, we hopefully manage to bring in the right players (should Louis van Gaal deem it required) to help us forget last season and push to a level where we deserve.