Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj appears to have been handed the iconic number 11 shirt, previously worn by Ryan Giggs for 24 years, by manager Louis van Gaal.
Ahead of United’s final pre-season friendly against Valencia at Old Trafford - Van Gaal’s first match in charge of the Red Devils at the Theatre of Dreams - an image has been published on Twitter showing Januzaj’s new jersey inside the club’s Megastore.
View Januzaj’s new shirt HERE (Note: Official confirmation has not yet been made)
It’s also rumoured that Luke Shaw will take the number 3 shirt, vacated by Patrice Evra, while Robin van Persie will stick with number 20 rather than switching to numbers 7 or 9.
It’s currently unclear which number United’s £29 million summer signing Ander Herrera will wear. It seems unlikely that he will be handed either seven or nine, although there aren’t too many other obvious squad numbers available to chose from.
Januzaj: From 44 to 11
Van Gaal’s decision to hand Januzaj, who previously wore number 44, the 11 shirt is a significant gesture from the iconic Dutch coach.
There has been speculation that Januzaj could be one of those who suffers from Van Gaal’s 3-5-2 formation, which favours wing-backs instead of traditional wingers, but the fact Januzaj has been handed such an iconic number indicates that the young Belgium international will have a big role to play this season.
Januzaj, of course, is capable of playing in the No. 10 position as well as on either flank - and this versatility, combined with his extraordinary talent, should make him a favourite of Van Gaal.
Watch: Adnan Januzaj in action
Can he cope with the pressure?
That Januzaj was one of Manchester United’s best performers, at the tender age of 18, in a dismal campaign for the Red Devils suggests this is a player with a huge future ahead of him.
Januzaj shot to prominence when he scored two terrific goals on his first Manchester United start, against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, back in October - and continued going from strength to strength as the season progressed.
The Belgian signed a five-year contract with the Red Devils last season and is already a favourite amongst the Manchester United supporters.
Because this is a gifted, left-footed youngster who gets supporters out of their seats with his flair, it seems only fitting that Januzaj has replaced club legend Giggs - who, as assistant manager, possibility had a say in the decision - as Manchester United’s latest No. 11.
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