“The number 7 at Manchester United means a lot. Many players have succeeded. But, not a few have failed.”
1NEWS – Cristiano Ronaldo has confirmed that he will return to wearing the number 7 shirt at Manchester United after Edinson Cavani relented and the possibility of using the number 21 jersey as in the Uruguay national team.
Apart from Ronaldo, several star players have also used the jersey number at MU. But, what happened to those players in the Premier League era? Only nine players have worn the jersey since the official squad numbers were introduced in the 1993/1994 season.
Some players are successful. Some others failed miserably. And, we’ve ranked the players who wore the number 7 for United in the Premier League era from worst to best. Here are the rankings:
9. Alexis Sanchez
Alexis arrived at United in January 2018 with high expectations and a salary of £400,000 per week. However, the Chilean scored just five goals in 45 appearances for the Red Devils before being loaned out to Inter Milan and then earning a hefty fee when signed on a permanent basis.
Since Cristiano Ronaldo left Man Utd in 2009, he scored 392 goals…
Every Man Utd number 7️⃣ after him scored 24 combined
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Cavani broke the curse, and gave the number back to its rightful owner 🙏 pic.twitter.com/6ajzAEIQOR
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 3, 2021
8. Memphis Depay
Mamphis was tipped to be the next big thing after joining United from PSV Eindhoven in 2015 and reportedly directly asked for the number 7 jersey. The winger is delivering on his qualities. However, he failed to establish himself as a regular under Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.
He scored only two Premier League goals before joining Lyon on a permanent contract in January 2017. Now, Memphis plays for Barcelona.
7. Angel di Maria
Di Maria was outstanding during his first few weeks at United. His incredible goal against Leicester City became a reflection of him during his time playing at Old Trafford. However, everything went according to plan and the Argentine was not liked by Van Gaal.
He spent just one disappointing season at Old Trafford and joined PSG for £44.3 million in 2015. “I didn’t care about the number 7 jersey at United. At first they spoke to me a lot about it. But, for me, it’s just a shirt,” Di Maria told TyC Sports in 2021.
“My problem at Manchester was the coach. Van Gaal was the worst in my career. I would score goals, assist and the next day he showed me my wrong pass. He pushed me away from one day to another. He doesn’t like more players. from him,” added Di Maria.
6. Antonio Valencia
After winning Manchester United’s Player of the Year award in 2011/12, Valencia went on to wear the number 7 substitute 25 jersey. However, the pressure seems to be weighing on him and the winger is struggling to find his best form. Throughout 2012/2013, he scored only one goal in 30 Premier League appearances.
He decided to leave the jersey number in 2013 and found a new life after wearing number 25. “It had more to do with the fact that 25 was the number I had when I first came to the club and I played well wearing it,” Valencia told reporters. Daily Mirror in 2013.
“So I thought, why don’t I go back to wearing the number 25? I had good times and good luck with that shirt,” added the Ecuadorian.
5. Edinson Cavani
PSG’s all-time leading goalscorer joined United on a free transfer in 2020 and has quickly become a fan favorite at Old Trafford. He scored 17 goals in 39 appearances in all competitions in his debut season.
The Uruguayan agreed to take the number 7 shirt off after Ronaldo’s return and will now wear the number 21. “I’m not sure if it’s possible to have the number seven again. So I want to say a big thank you to Cavani for this great decision. ,” said Ronaldo.
Edinson Cavani broke the No.7 curse at Man United before returning it to Cristiano Ronaldo
Agree or agree? ️ pic.twitter.com/n9ZoV3RqPh
— International Champions Cup (@IntChampionsCup) September 3, 2021
4. Michael Owen
Owen arrived at Old Trafford during the twilight of his career, and fans were surprised when the former Liverpool star claimed the number 7 jersey. The striker found himself behind Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov in the order of appearances. However, the problem of injuries hit. He scored 17 goals in 52 appearances.
3. David Beckham
A member of the 1992 generation, Beckham was already a first-team player when he switched to the number 7 shirt in 1997. The midfielder played a major role in the club’s biggest season as United won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League 1998/1999. He went to Real Madrid in 2003.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) September 16, 2020
2. Eric Cantona
In 1993, Cantona became the first Manchester United player to be officially assigned number 7 in the Premier League. The legend left a great legacy for other players to follow. He was the catalyst for their success and helped the club to four Premier League titles and two FA Cups before announcing his shock resignation in 1997.
The French footballer has scored 82 goals in 185 appearances for United and is heralded as one of the greatest clubs of all time.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo developed into one of the best players in the world, winning three Premier League titles and the Champions League during his six years at Old Trafford. The Portuguese player followed in Beckham’s footsteps by joining Real Madrid in a deal worth £80 million in 2009.
After 12 years at Madrid and Juventus, he returns to Manchester United for a second term and hopes to make more history with the number 7 shirt.
Michael Owen: 5 Goals
Antonio Valencia: 1 Goal
Angel Di Maria: 3 Goals
Memphis Depay: 2 Goals
Alexis Sanchez: 3 Goals
Cristiano: Now he is back
— Macban Lopes (@lopesMacban) August 27, 2021