Louis van Gaal must hand Van Persie No.7 shirt

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It's all change at Manchester United, and new boss Louis van Gaal has a lot of decisions to make ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.

Something that may not be high up on his agenda, however, is the issue regarding the vacant No.7 shirt at the club. But, this is something that probably will be addressed this summer. In fact, there are a number of shirt numbers that need to be filled – including the famous No.11 that club legend Ryan Giggs has just left behind.

It certainly makes sense for Belgian youngster – and latest Manchester United hero – Adnan Januzaj to take over from Giggs. Surely the teenager has aspirations to follow in the footsteps of his former teammate and current coach.

The No.7 shirt, though, is another matter. And it's a shirt regarded as one of the most famous in world football. When discussing that shirt, names such as George Best, David Beckham, Eric Cantona and a certain Cristiano Ronaldo come into mind.

That quartet alone are some of the finest players to have ever played for England's most successful club. With that shirt comes responsibility...just ask Antonio Valencia.

The Ecuadorian wide-man was the last man to wear it, but things didn't work out the way he – and fans – had hoped for. He couldn't quite handle the pressure that comes with wearing one of the most famous shirts in football.

Of course, many will argue that it's just a shirt. And they would be right.

But, there's no getting away from the fact that it takes a special player to really thrive in a shirt which has become very special in it's own right. That's where Robin van Persie enters the frame.

Van Persie is set to enter his third season at the club, after two very different campaigns.

His first season was a memorable one, to say the least. In Manchester United's title winning season of 2012/13, Van Persie was the leader and the talisman of the team.

Last season, as we all know, was a different story for Van Persie and the club as a whole. However, as Van Gaal looks to stamp his own mark on the team, he should hand his Dutch captain a new lease of life.

The current Dutch boss could make a very clever decision this summer. In fact, he could make two.

Hand Wayne Rooney the captaincy and give Van Persie the No.7 shirt. Suddenly his best two players will become even more motivated than ever before. They will both be happy, and will both feel like kings of Manchester.

There's no getting away from the fact that Van Persie and Rooney haven't hit it off as well as they could do. As a pair, they have the potential to be unstoppable. Get them both in the right frame of mind and they could fire United back up the league table next season.

Whilst Rooney appears ready to take over as United's skipper, Van Persie won't shy away from the responsibility of the No.7 shirt.

Van Persie, much like Cantona and Co, is a genius on a football field, and his influence could be key for the former champions next season.

Of course, handing a player a specific shirt isn't going to win you the league, but this could prove a clever move by the newly appointed Manchester United manager.

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Manchester United
Robin Van Persie
Premier League

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