Cristiano Ronaldo has been warmly welcomed back to Manchester United, and the club has also handed the returning Old Trafford hero his legendary number seven shirt back. Along with George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, and David Beckham, Ronaldo is one of several united superstars who have immortalized the number seven jersey throughout the years. But once the Portuguese left, a number of players failed to live up to its legendary status or give it credit, practically giving the impression that it was “cursed.” Although Ronaldo suddenly retracts his statement, these are all the united players who have donned the number seven jersey since he last did it in 2009.
1. Michael Owen
Sir Alex Ferguson was looking for a new striker to bolster his attack after losing both Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez in the summer of 2009. Ferguson turned to former Liverpool star Michael Owen, who joined on a free transfer after leaving Newcastle. Given the void left by Ronaldo, fans were desperate for the star player, perhaps in his prime, to come in and receive a shirt. Instead, an aging Owen was a player still struggling with injuries.
Overall, he scored 17 goals in 52 appearances for the club despite starting only 18 games. Despite being only a squad player when he’s in good shape, Owen has given fans some moments to remember for a long time. Most notably the final gap victory in the Manchester Derby. Oh, and this move has served him well enough that he finally got his hands on a Premier League winners’ medal.Owen’s comments after winning the title are blunt but very true did.
2. Antonio Valencia
Ferguson actually made a seven to Antonio Valencia before contacting Owen when both players first came at Old Trafford in the same summer. But Valencia was his choice, not 25.
The former Wigan winger was neither the most attractive footballer nor the most prolific in front of goal. But it was his work ethic that made him such a fan favorite: Valencia was Mr. Consistent and Ferguson was a dependable player every game. After an excellent 2011/12 season, Valencia was named the club’s Player of the Year and given the prestigious Sevens shirt.
However, he only kept it for a year before returning to number 25. Valencia insisted it was important to make his back more comfortable at the age of 25. While wearing the number 7, the Ecuadorian only scored his one goal, but he I also struggled with injuries. Valencia made a total of 339 appearances for the Devils before leaving the Reds in the summer of 2019, and in a ten-year stint saw him score 25 goals and provide 62 of his assists.
3. Angel Di Maria
The club’s failures in the years just after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement are best shown by Angel Di Maria’s move to United. The Argentine was uneasy and indifferent, never appearing as though he wanted to be there. It was an instance of trying to make a “statement” signing to demonstrate that the Red Devils were still serious about their game.
The issue, though, was that the player’s willingness to join or his desire to be a part of the footballing enterprise were being overshadowed by the money. His early success generated a lot of enthusiasm, but his form rapidly declined…dramatically. Despite waxing poetic about the opportunity to play for United wearing the number seven at the time.
4. Memphis Depay
Maybe it was a case of being too young for United’s Memphis. After Di Maria left, the Dutchman inherited the sevens shirt, hoping to wear it for years to come. With skill, speed, creativity and a true eye for goal, Memphis seemed to have all the qualities to succeed at United and made a great deal.
But whether it was mental toughness or the team’s general inconsistency that kept him from showing his talent on a regular basis, the former PSV Eindhoven talent struggled to make a big impression. I’m here. His talent was evident to all and fans witnessed his highest quality moments. However, it was very unstable, and the striker often disappeared for the majority of the game as well. After reviving his career at Lyon, Memphis is now in Barcelona.
5. Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez of United: The club costs around £28,800 per touch, £19.8m per Premier League goal and £40m in gross wages. United persuaded Manchester City to sign a Chilean player from Arsenal and sent Henrik Mkhitaryan in the opposite direction. However, the size of this deal shook the club’s pay structure, causing Arsenal’s failure to produce form as well as much more damage. With five goals in 45 appearances, you can see how badly he’s done for United.
He never fit in with the team or looked like he was part of the team. This had a huge impact on the pitch as he continued to give the ball away and strive to truly understand the play of his teammates. United have loaned him to Inter for the 2019/20 season. The deal was perpetuated at the end of the campaign, but the Red Devils eventually paid him to get rid of his contract.
6. Edinson Cavani
After arriving as a free agent in October 2020, it was up to Edinson Cavani to finally break the ‘curse’ of United’s number 7 shirt. Even though he has scored 300 goals for the club in the last decade, there were serious doubts about this veteran his Uruguayan when his deal was announced. He hadn’t played in his six months due to the coronavirus pandemic, but fitness concerns began limiting his playing time.
But Cavani ultimately put the naysayers to rest and rose to fame at Old Trafford. His movement was respected, and his mentor-like relationship with Mason Greenwood seemed to make the most of the local youth. United persuaded Cavani to stay next season after scoring 17 times in all competitions, but after giving up the number 7 shirt to Ronaldo, he would wear the number 21 instead.