Ronaldo’s replacement? Manchester United have potentially found their new No 7

Cristiano Ronaldo - Manchester United reacts during the game.

The number 7 shirt at Manchester United remains vacant after Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit Action Images / Carl Recine.

Alejandro Garnacho appears to be next in line to wear Manchester United’s famous number 7 shirt.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s abrupt departure in November of last year left the iconic shirt vacant and Erik ten Hag without a reliable goal-scorer.

Marcus Rashford quickly took the mantle of leading the Red Devils’ attack. In January, the Englishman became the first United player to score in seven consecutive appearances in all competitions since Ronaldo in April 2008 and eventually ended the season with 30 goals to his name.

Garnacho enjoyed a breakthrough Manchester United season under Ten Hag

While Rashford replaced Ronaldo’s goals, it was Garnacho who got Old Trafford fans off their seats, like Ronaldo, more than any other United player last term.

The 18-year-old made his first-team debut under interim United boss Ralf Rangnick against Chelsea in April of last year and established himself as an integral part of Erik ten Hag’s squad last season. He scored his first senior goal against Real Sociedad in the Europa League in November and ended the 2022/23 campaign with five goals and five assists to his credit.

United rewarded his rise to prominence with a new five-year contract in April. Now, as per the Manchester Evening News, they are considering making him their new number seven.

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Ever since Ronaldo first left Old Trafford, performances of United’s Number 7s have been far from impressive. High-profile names like Angel Di Maria and Memphis Depay failed to carry the weight of the famous shirt and even Ronaldo couldn’t replicate his old form in his second spell.

United decision-makers would be taking a huge risk by giving Garnacho, who currently dons the number 49, such a big responsibility. But so far, the Argentina international has shown he has both the talent and character needed to fill in the shoes of Ronaldo, who, incidentally, assisted the youngster’s first professional goal.