Three players are competing for iconic No.7 shirt at Manchester United next season

Man United have yet to reassign their most famous shirt number following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Manchester United delayed their decision on replacing Cristiano Ronaldo during the January transfer window – in more ways than one – and the race is on to pick up the iconic No.7 shirt that he left behind when his second spell at Old Trafford was brought to a controversial end.

Bringing in Wout Weghorst to bolster their attacking options in the short-term, United also made a late move to sign Austria midfielder Marcel Sabitzer from Bayern Munich in another temporary agreement. Weghorst and Sabitzer might have been asked to keep the No.7 shirt vacated by Ronaldo warm.

However, such is the unique importance that particular squad number holds, United opted against doing that, and their (non) decision was applauded by the worldwide fanbase.

But who will try to emulate George Best, Bryan Robson, David Beckham and Ronaldo – among others – when it comes to finding a long-term successor? Here are three possible options currently at the club.


Perhaps the outside bet as things stand. Antony briefly wore number 7 during his time with Sao Paulo, but he soon switched to his preferred number 11 when it became available there. He donned number 39 and 11 during his three seasons in Amsterdam.

One caveat for his chances might be what happens with Frenkie de Jong moving forward as the Netherlands playmaker has worn number 21 – currently assigned to Antony at Old Trafford – throughout his career. It might be used as a bargaining chip further down the line.

Jadon Sancho

Sancho was “stopped” from grabbing the number 7 shirt when he signed for United the season before last as Edinson Cavani held that honour at the time. However, in a previously unprecedented move, Cavani passed it over to Ronaldo upon his sensational return to the club after 12 years with Juventus and Real Madrid.

With regards to Sancho, it went in keeping with the notion that it should be earned.

After three months away from competitive action due to personal matters, the England forward will have the chance to do exactly that as he strives to recapture his Borussia Dortmund output. Sancho donned the number 7 throughout his four-year spell in Germany, which brought 50 goals and 64 assists from 137 appearances.

Garnacho and Ronaldo

Alejandro Garnacho

It would be written in the stars for Garnacho to pick up the mantle from Ronaldo given how much he idolises the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. You get the feeling United supporters are gunning for the Argentina hotshot to get the nod from Erik ten Hag when that final call does come around.

Beyond the three names mentioned above, possible summer targets such as Harry Kane, Victor Osimhen, Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice and De Jong might also come into the reckoning. However, each of those players have no current affiliation with the number 7 shirt – although it would be a huge reward for them here.

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