Manchester United will not retire the famous number 11 shirt vacated by club legend Ryan Giggs, who announced his retirement from football on Monday in order to become the assistant to newly-appointed Dutch coach Louis van Gaal. Instead, 19-year-old Adnan Januzaj is believed to be the firm favourite to take the iconic jersey.
The Belgian winger, who burst onto the scene earlier this season and was one of the Red Devils’ few good performers in an otherwise dreadful campaign, could potentially acquire No. 11 after cementing his status as the club’s most promising youngster, according to The Telegraph.
Januzaj currently wears 44, but he is expected to have a key role to play under Van Gaal, who the young Belgian described as a “great manager” earlier this week.
Some Manchester United supporters have called for Januzaj to inherit the No. 7 shirt - the most iconic number at Old Trafford - after it was vacated by Antonio Valencia at the beginning of this season. However, 11 might be more fitting for the young man named by respected Italian publication Gazzetta Dello Sport as the best young player in Europe earlier this season. The Giggs comparisons are obvious.
While other clubs have retired squad numbers as a mark of respect to former heroes, Manchester United have no such plans for the number 11 shirt. The Red Devils will subsequently have the following numbers free next this summer: 7, 9 - last worn by Dimitar Berbatov - and 11.
Manchester United’s No. 5 shirt will also be available as Rio Ferdinand leaves the club, while No. 3 could be freed up if, as expected, Patrice Evra moves on.
Manchester United fans: is Januzaj the right man to take Giggs’ famous No. 11 shirt? Tell us in the comments section below!