Adnan Januzaj loses No.11 shirt to Anthony Martial

by Leo Nieboer

Adnan Januzaj has been stripped of the iconic No.11 shirt at Manchester United which will be worn by Anthony Martial instead.

The Belgian winger was handed the No.11 shirt after Ryan Giggs, who made the shirt his own over a 24 year period, retired as a footballer in 2014.

Since then, however, Januzaj has struggled to thrive under the shirt’s enormous weight having made only 28 appearances in the past two years. As a result, the 21-year-old has been handed the No.15 shirt whilst Martial, who enjoyed a groundbreaking debut season at Old Trafford switches from No.9 to No.11.

Being deprived of a shirt that possesses such a monumental amount of historical value is pretty dilapidating. However, in this case, it is also justified.

Januzaj has failed to reproduce the attacking zeal and trickery of the 2013/14 season that saw him earn the shirt in the first place. Since then, the youngster’s performances have been hallmarked by a lack of physicality and execution. The No.11 shirt, it seems, has weighted too heavily on the Belgian’s shoulders.

That is why Martial is the ideal recipient of the coveted shirt: in his first season at Old Trafford, where he was written off before kicking a ball, the 20-year-old displayed no signs of feeling any sort of pressure. He will wear the No.11 shirt with the same nonchalant countenance as always, eviscerating right backs in a way that honours the legacy left by Giggs himself.

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