Manchester United have announced their squad numbers for 2014/15. What can we learn from the list?
Manchester United have announced their squad numbers for the coming campaign, and they are as follows:
1. De Gea; 2. Rafael; 3. Shaw; 4. Jones; 6. Evans; 8. Mata; 10. Rooney; 11. Januzaj; 12. Smalling; 13. Lindegaard; 14. Chicharito; 16. Carrick; 17. Nani; 18. Young; 19. Welbeck; 20. van Persie; 21. Herrera; 22. Powell; 23. Cleverley; 24. Fletcher; 25. Valencia; 26. Kagawa; 28. Anderson; 29. Zaha; 30. Varela; 31. Fellaini; 34. Lawrence; 35. Lingard; 36. Vermijl; 38. M Keane; 39. Thorpe; 40. Amos; 41. James; 42. Blackett; 45. Petrucci; 46. Rothwell; 48. W Keane; 49. Wilson; 50. Johnstone
Here are five things we can take from the assigned numbers:
- More signings are on the way
United still appear to be making space for new signings, evidenced by the big numbers left vacant. There is no number 5, 7, or 9 listed, and few United fans would begrudge seeing either Angel di Maria or Arturo Vidal receiving the iconic 7 shirt. United even hinted there are further additions on the way:
Please note: any new acquisitions will be handed shirt numbers that are currently vacant. #mufc— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 13, 2014
- Anderson is not in the first team plans
Previously United's number 8, Brazilian midfielder Anderson has been 'relegated' to 28. Some may say he is fortunate to have been assigned a shirt at all, but his downgrade makes it even more clear that he is not in the first team picture. Injury prevented him from making an impression in pre-season, and there is still a chance Louis van Gaal can re-vitalise him, but for now he is not being given a position of any responsibility.
- There is huge faith in Adnan Januzaj
For any player to take Ryan Giggs' number 11 shirt is a huge ask. For a teenager to do so is quite something else. Yet it speaks volumes of United's faith in the Belgian international that they have bestowed the honour upon him, with Giggs himself said to have been instrumental in the choice.
- United see reason to be cautious with Ander Herrera
Big performances are expected of new midfielder Ander Herrera, but United clearly see reason to be cautious. If they were sold that he was a player ready made to handle the responsibility alone of being a key man, they would have awarded him the number 7 shirt. Instead they have shown caution, and indicated there is a more senior midfield addition on the way, and the Spaniard will be eased in and not find himself unduly affected by extra pressure as Antonio Valencia was.
- Danny Welbeck and Chris Smalling still have to convince
Whether it be Louis van Gaal, or the United set up in general, there is still clearly a feeling that Danny Welbec is yet to truly prove himself. If he were an automatic starter, a striker the club knew they were able to rely on to score 20 plus goals a season, the England forward would have been handed the vacant number 9 shirt. A similar case can be made for Chris Smalling, who if the club were entirely sold on his readiness for a regular first team role, may just have been assigned the number 5.