Juan Mata is a Manchester United player. It will take a while before that really sinks in just like it did when Robin van Persie made the move from Arsenal last summer.
Tomorrow afternoon, Mata will be officially unveiled at his first press conference and although everybody is keen to hear him speak for the first time in front of the press as a United player, there is one thing fans are most eager to know – what number will Mata wear?
Rumours have circulated all weekend that Mata will be given the No. 7 shirt and the official website has dropped a not so subtle hint that could be the case. Also, www.juanmata7.com redirects to his official website.
Recently, the fable behind the No. 7 shirt has been lost in Antonio Valencia and Michael Owen but it has always been the symbolic shirt at Old Trafford.
When you break it down, Mata could wear the No. 96 and it wouldn’t make a difference but the No. 7 shirt comes with an added pressure, just ask Antonio Valencia.
It is steeped in United history. George Best, Bryan Robson, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo have all added their own pages to the No. 7 history book and it is a shirt number that really does come with responsibilities.
As our club record signing, Mata would be able to handle those responsibilities and I see him as the perfect candidate to be our new No. 7 under Moyes to help bring us into a new post-Ferguson era.
What number do you think Juan Mata should get – 7, 8 or 9? Alternatively, should it be a completely different number?