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Ibrahimovic given No. 9 as Man U unveil numbers

Manchester United have unveiled their new squad numbers for the 2016-17 season, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic taking the No. 9 shirt worn by Anthony Martial last season — and a gap being left at No. 6.

It had been reported by The Sun that United would delay releasing their numbers because the possible arrival of Paul Pogba was being taken into consideration.

Pogba could feature as a defensive midfielder, so the No. 6 shirt could be an appropriate one for him, should the deal be concluded successfully.

That shirt was given to Jonny Evans at the start of last season, but he has moved on to West Bromwich Albion.

Memphis Depay keeps hold of the No. 7 which he had last season, rather than it being given to Ibrahimovic, which was a change that had been suggested by Eric Cantona, who once wore that number with distinction.

In a video for Eurosport, Cantona had sent out the message to Ibrahimovic: “There can only be one King in Manchester. You can be the Prince if you want to. And the No. 7 is yours if you are interested. That is my welcome gift to you.”

As Ibrahimovic takes No. 9, Martial will now instead wear the No. 11 shirt that had previously been worn by Adnan Januzaj, who switched to No. 15.

Marcus Rashford was No. 39 when he emerged into the first team in February but he now takes the shirt which represents how old he will be from October — 19.

One of United’s new signings, Eric Bailly, takes the No. 3 while another, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, will have No. 22, which he regularly wore in Ukraine earlier on in his career. The Armenian wore the No. 10 for his former club Borussia Dortmund, but that is already in possession of club captain Wayne Rooney.

Juan Mata has kept the No. 8 despite question marks surrounding whether he will stay in manager Jose Mourinho’s plans.

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One comment

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