2 Manchester United stars in the running to take over Cristiano Ronaldo's famous number 7 jersey at Old Trafford

Who will take the number 7 kit at Manchester United when Cristiano Ronaldo leaves?
Who will take the number 7 kit at Manchester United when Cristiano Ronaldo leaves?

Cristiano Ronaldo could soon be on his way out of Manchester United, and it leaves us wondering who will take the number 7 jersey at Old Trafford next.

The number 7 jersey is perhaps one of the most iconic shirts in the history of football. Its significance is even bigger at Manchester United, considering the players who donned it at the club.

David Beckham, Eric Cantona and George Best established themselves as legends of the game wearing the number 7 at Old Trafford. Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo notably took the jersey on two separate occasions.

Cristiano Ronaldo first joined the Red Devils from Sporting CP in the summer of 2003, as an 18-year-old. Despite his tender age, Sir Alex Ferguson backed the up-and-coming attacker by handing him the celebrated number 7 kit. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Portuguese import justified Ferguson's decision to give him the jersey, making 292 appearances over six seasons. He helped Manchester United win 10 trophies before joining Real Madrid in 2009.

Cristiano Ronaldo reclaimed the No. 7 after returning to Manchester United last year

Cristiano Ronaldo then sealed a sensational return to Old Trafford last year, joining from Juventus on a two-year deal. Edinson Cavani picked up the number 21 kit to allow the forward to reclaim his number 7 jersey.

The 37-year-old picked up right where he left off, scoring 24 goals in 38 matches last season. Despite being away from the club for 12 years, he seemed right at home donning the iconic kit at Old Trafford.

However, Cristiano Ronaldo's second stint with the Red Devils has not gone as well as he had hoped. The club failed to secure UEFA Champions League qualification, finishing sixth in the Premier League last term.

The former Real Madrid superstar pushed for a move away from Manchester in the summer, but was forced to stay put. The player's long-term future at the club, though, remains in doubt.

Cristiano Ronaldo has his contract with Erik ten Hag's side expiring at the end of the current season. While there is an option to extend the deal by another 12 months, there is no guarantee that he will stay that long.

Should he leave Old Trafford in the near future, it leaves us with the question of who will take the number 7 kit next. Manchester United already have two solid candidates in their ranks in Jadon Sancho and Antony.

The Red Devils signed Sancho from Borussia Dortmund for £73 million last year. The winger made a slow start to his life at the club, but appears to have found his footing under Ten Hag this season.

Sancho, who currently wears number 25, has scored three goals in eight matches across all competitions for the English giants. While he still needs to show his quality consistently, he is a strong candidate to take over the number 7 shirt, having donned the kit at Dortmund.

Antony has seemingly already claimed his stake in taking on the iconic kit despite only joining the club in the summer. The Brazilian, who cost Manchester United a whopping £86 million, marked his debut for the team by scoring in their 2-1 win against Arsenal.

Known for his dribbling abilities, Antony has what it takes to get fans off their seats like Cristiano Ronaldo did in his early days at Manchester United. He is thus a strong option to battle it out with Sancho to be the next holder of the number 7 shirt.

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Edited by Dakir Mohammed Thanveer
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