Cristiano Ronaldo will not be able to don the no.7 jersey at Old Trafford this season.
With the superstar returning to his beloved Premier League outfit, fans were ecstatic at such a transfer occurring. However, CR7 may not be able to wear the no.7 jersey this campaign due to Premier League rules.
The obvious reason for this is that Edinson Cavani wears the iconic jersey which Ronaldo along with the likes of George Best, David Beckham, and Eric Cantona gave the number its continued allure.
When the much-anticipated Sancho transfer was completed earlier this summer, it was understood that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did not wish to ask Cavani to give up his allocated number to the promising youngster.
However, in the case of Ronaldo, even if Cavani is willing to give up his number, the Premier League rules will not permit it. The reason for this is that the season has already commenced and the numbers once allocated cannot be re-allocated unless the same is freed-up due to the exit of a player. (Source: MEN)
The sole caveat here is a “special dispensation” that the Premier League can make. Given Ronaldo’s stature and the massive appeal he garners, an argument can certainly be made for the League to exercise such a measure here.
However, recent trends have also indicated that players out of respect choose not to ask for a specific number if another player is already wearing it. The most telling example of the same is Lionel Messi’s choice to not accept the no.10 jersey despite Neymar Jr. volunteering to give it up, instead taking up the 30 in which he began his career.
Ronaldo may be forced to take up a similar decision at Old Trafford, with the sentimental 28 which he wore at Sporting available for the taking in a crowded roster. At the same time, a section of fans have also been heralding for the star to take on the 77 number, to mark his second return.