MANCHESTER, England (Sporting Alert) — Ecuador star winger Antonio Valencia will wear the “iconic No.7” shirt for Manchester United in the 2012/13 season.
The spotlight number, which was previously worn by several club legends such as George Best, Eric Cantona, Bryan Robson, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo – was left vacant by Michael Owen, who departed the club after being released this summer.
“Valencia requested the No.7 shirt,” Manchester United reveal on its official website at www.manutd.com.
The Barclays Premier League side also confirmed that new summer signings Nick Powell and Shinji Kagawa will wear no.25 and no.26 respectively.
The remaining squad numbers for the new campaign season are still to be confirmed, but Wayne Rooney is expected to keep his No. 10 shirt, while Javier Hernandez, Ryan Giggs and Ashley Young are expected to keep the No. 14, No. 11 and No. 18 respective shirts.
Meanwhile, Kagawa revealed that he turned down the opportunity to wear the famous No. 7 jersey.
“I’ve just joined the team and haven’t accomplished anything yet,” said Kagawa. “I want to make a name for myself [at United] on my own terms.”
Much is expected from the Japan international, following his impressive season with German champions Borussia Dortmund, and he’s looking forward to the challenge.
Kagawa added: “This is a challenge I am really looking forward to. The Premier League is the best league in the world and Manchester United is such a massive club.
“This is a really exciting time for me and I can’t wait to meet the team and start playing.”