Romelu Lukaku, the most recent signing for Manchester United, has recently been made official by the club through its social media profiles and website. The move also confirmed the rumours United fans had been wondering about – the Belgian chooses the number 9 shirt at the Old Trafford outfit.
Generally seen under a number 10 jersey, the striker would be the immediate next player after Zlatan Ibrahimovic to adorn the number 9 jersey. While the number previously belonged to Anthony Martial, the ex-Monaco forward moved to shirt number 11 for the Swede.
Despite being officially off the books and records of current Manchester United squads, the Belgian international thought it best to talk to the Swede, take his blessings, and ask a formal approval allowing him to wear the number 9 jersey.
Lukaku had reasons to choose the number 10 jersey, but he did not.
Lukaku said: “I always asked my mother what number, and I used to play with the 10 because my mother’s birthday is on October 10, so it’s the 10th month of the year. That’s why I played with No. 10.
“I asked for the number 9 because I’m a striker. Strikers play with No. 9. It’s a nice number, and I asked the permission of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I want to thank him as well, for allowing me to wear that number.”
It is understood that he had also talked to his compatriot from the Belgian national team, Marouane Fellaini, before confirming the deal.
Speaking about the great relation they share, the forward remarked: “He spoke to me two days ago and he sent me a message saying ‘Now you will discover how big and how great the club is’.
“I said to him ‘I have already realized it a little!’ To have a guy who plays with me in the national team, and one of my best friends in life (Pogba) in my team is great to get to know the players.”
With former players like Andy Cole, Dimitar Berbatov, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic having donned the shirt number, Lukaku has huge shoes to fill!
Written by Srivats Venkateswaran
Sports writer with a long experience of writing in football.Was football team head at EssentiallySports. Still deeply misses Sir Alex and Berbatov at United. An introvert at heart with a poetic hand. Engineer by choice, writer by passion.