Van Persie turns down No 9 shirt at Manchester United

by Sam Peoples

rvp-shirtRobin van Persie has turned down the opportunity to wear No 9 at Manchester United next season and will stick with No 20.

The 29-year-old striker arrived at Old Trafford before the departure of Dimitar Berbatov so the No 9 shirt wasn’t available and he took up the free No 20 shirt left vacant after Fabio left on loan to QPR.

And despite No 9 being free this year, van Persie has chosen to stick with the No 20 shirt that brought him good luck this year.

Speaking to Inside United, van Persie said: “I think I’ll keep it [the no.20 shirt]. I have the option to take no.9 but I don’t think I’ll do that.

“I’ll stick with what is right and what feels good. Also, I don’t want to be harsh to the fans who have no.20 on their kit.

“I don’t want them to have to buy a new shirt. [No.20] has been a good number for me. I’ll stick with it.”

He’s a really classy guy isn’t he? It’s great that he would think of the fans splashing out let alone reject the No 9 shirt partly because of it.

In the days where numbers were very much correlated to positions, the No 9 was the archetypal striker, so it would have been fitting if van Persie took up the shirt that has also been previously held by Brian McClair who scored 127 goals in 421 appearances and Andy Cole who scored 121 goals in 275 appearances.

Van Persie admitted that he took the No 20 shirt when he joined United because he was ‘here to win a 20th title with United’ and he did, so he is sticking with it.

That means that the No 9 shirt is up for grabs. A possible candidate would be Wilfried Zaha or maybe it would be someone further afield if United were to sign another striker.

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red4life 05/04/2013 - 22:52

no 21 would be ideal for rvp and us

Adam 05/04/2013 - 18:01

The guy is very classy and a special player. The number 9 shirt would have looked good but it is not that important. Van Nistelrooy is the best striker I’ve seen at Man Utd and he actually wore the number 10 shirt. My other favorite striker was Ole Solskjear and he wore the number 21 shirt during his Man Utd career. Dwight Yorke was massive in helping us win the treble and he had the number 19 shirt. The king Eric Cantona wore the iconic number 7 shirt. I have to say that although I liked Andy Cole, I’ve never been found of the strikers who have actually worn the number 9 shirt.

I wouldn’t give the shirt the Zaha because it is really a strikers number, as old fashioned as that might sound. Hernandez seems to like the number 14 and his shirt sells well in the Latin America region so he won’t change his shirt number, but he is the purest number 9 striker we have. We have gone into seasons without anyone wearing the number 9 shirt, but it could now be earmarked for a summer signing. Who know? Maybe Radamel Falcao, the best number 9 striker in the world according to Graham Hunter, might be the worthy recipient of the shirt.


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