Erik ten Hag appointed next Manchester United manager
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It’s going to be a huge summer ahead for Manchester United. And, among the chaos that’s sure to take place under Erik ten Hag, it’s possible four players may change shirt numbers. An exodus is primed to commence at Old Trafford, with many key members of the squad likely to leave.
There are just a handful of players safe from the chop at Manchester United this summer as they gear up for another new era, this time under Ten Hag.
Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani and Lee Grant are set to leave on free transfers, as well as Nemanja Matic.
And there are question marks over the futures of Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Dean Henderson and Mason Greenwood, too.
So, with that being the case, it’s time to look at potential shirt number changes that may take place.
Starting with Bruno Fernandes…
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Since Fernandes has been at United, he’s worn the No 18 shirt.
That was previously donned by Ashley Young as well as club icon Paul Scholes, who won the lot during the entirety of his career at Old Trafford.
But Fernandes has made no secret he wants the No 8 jersey.
And, with Mata primed to leave, it’ll soon become vacant.
Fernandes will have his sights set on the number he likes above all others and, if he’s given it, it could even trigger a turnaround in form having experienced an inconsistent display under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick so far.
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Donny van de Beek
Donny van de Beek is set to be given a second chance at United when Ten Hag takes charge.
And it’s feasible he’ll revert back to the No 6 shirt he wore under his compatriot when they worked together at Ajax.
The 25-year-old was unable to take that number when he joined in the summer of 2020 because of Pogba’s presence.
However, soon enough, Pogba will become a free agent.
The France international is yet to sign a new contract with United, despite having an offer on the table. And that suggests a parting of the ways is on the cards.
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Jadon Sancho didn’t want to take the No 25 shirt when he joined United back in the summer.
Instead, the former Borussia Dortmund winger was hoping he’d inherit the No 7 jersey instead.
It was occupied by Cavani before Ronaldo, who was then given it after arriving from Juventus on transfer deadline day.
However, Ronaldo may depart if Ten Hag doesn’t consider the 37-year-old to be part of his plans.
And that would enable Sancho to take the number he initially wanted when he touched down.
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At United, the No 16 is currently occupied by Amad.
However, the Ivory Coast international is likely to be loaned out again after enduring a tough second half of the season with Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.
Therefore, it’s possible the jersey will go to James Garner instead.
Garner has sparkled at Nottingham Forest over the past two years and is expected to be given a chance by Ten Hag.
Given he’s been compared to Michael Carrick in the past, it would certainly make sense if he was to be given the England international’s old number.
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