New Manchester United signing Memphis Depay has demanded to be handed the iconic number seven shirt previously worn by likes of George Best, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, according to the Daily Mail.
The Dutch international arrived at Old Trafford earlier on in the summer for a fee of around £22 million from PSV Eindhoven, and has already made an impact.
Since his arrival as Louis van Gaal's first signing this summer, Depay has been wearing the number nine shirt in pre-season friendlies during the tour of north America. However Adidas confirmed yesterday that Manchester United's new shirt numbers will be announced on Friday and Van Gaal is said to be impressed with Depay's willingness to take on such an illustrious number.
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However before that can happen, the shirt's current incumbent needs to vacate. Angel di Maria, who became Manchester United's record signing last year after joining from Real Madrid, is expected to leave after just one season and join Paris Saint-Germain.
The deal has not been confirmed yet though it is expected to go through shortly - and if it does before Friday then Depay can take his shirt.
Although the number seven shirt has an illustrious history, of late its taken something of a dip. Before Di Maria it was worn by Antonio Valencia, who asked to change because of the weight of history he felt.
Michael Owen, who joined Manchester United for a short spell, was the previous owner before Valencia. Before that though Cristiano Ronaldo was in possession of the famous number, and many have compared Depay to the Portuguese superstar and hope he can have the same effect at Old Trafford.
Depay has shown he is fearless already in his short spell at Manchester United. His willingness to take on the number seven shirt should be commended - not everyone who has worn it has been a success and the Dutchman has opened himself up to comparisons to the likes of Ronaldo and Beckham.
However with the deal for Di Maria dragging on there's a chance he could miss out on it - and that may not be a bad thing.
There's already plenty of pressure on the young winger to produce in his first season and he must focus on finding his feet as quickly as possibly. Di Maria failed to do that, and there's no need to make the young Dutchman's job even more difficult straight away.
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