According to his brother, who has uploaded photographs of ‘AG17’ on social media, Manchester United winger Alejandro Garnacho will wear a new squad number for the balance of the 2023/24 season.
The highly-rated teenager, who joined United’s junior team from Atletico Madrid in 2020, has worn the number 49 shirt since his professional debut in last year’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea.
Last season, he thrived under Erik ten Hag’s tutelage, and as a result, the Argentine was connected with the legendary number seven shirt following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure.
Mason Mount, a £55 million Chelsea signing, was eventually granted that right in July, but it appears Garnacho will be awarded another shirt number worn by Ronaldo during his career.
On Thursday evening, Alejandro’s brother, Roberto, shared a photo of his sibling wearing the number 17 jersey with the caption: “AG17 [star emoji]”.
Following the departure of Fred, who has joined Turkish club Fenerbahce, it was widely assumed that United’s big-money recruit Rasmus Hojlund would take the number 17 shirt.
However, it appears that Hojlund will be given the number 11 shirt after previous occupant Mason Greenwood left Old Trafford in August after a six-month investigation into his conduct.
For a long time, it was assumed that Garnacho would take over the number seven shirt, and we know the 18-year-old has the self-assurance to thrive under pressure.
In fact, he hinted about taking the shirt number in April by ‘liking’ a tweet that said, “Give Garnacho the 7 shirt.”
When Manchester United sent out a mobile push notice to their fan base with the caption: “If you’re a true fan of Alejandro, then you’ll score at least seven out of ten [wink emoji],” fans mistook it for a cheeky recommendation concerning Garnacho’s future squad number.
Some fans were optimistic about Garnacho earning the number.
“Genuinely the only one in the club I can see thriving with it,” one person commented, while another said, “Yes, the boy was born to wear it.”
“Yes,” said a third. Definitely. I’m not aware of another player who deserves it more than him.”
Others, however, were dubious, citing increased pressure and not being a regular starter in Erik ten Hag’s first-team plans as reasons.