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Opinion: Possible candidates to take Cristiano Ronaldo’s No. 7 Manchester United jersey

Referee Anthony Taylor is confronted by Christian Eriksen and Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Villa Park on November 06, 2022 in Birmingham, England
Referee Anthony Taylor is confronted by Christian Eriksen and Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Possible candidates for vacant No.7 jersey at Manchester United after Cristiano Ronaldo’s spell at the club comes to an end

Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo confirmed on Tuesday evening that they have come to a mutual agreement to terminate the Portuguese’s contract with immediate effect, after his explosive interview with Piers Morgan.

Ronaldo shocked the world when clips of an interview with Piers Morgan surfaced right after United won in stoppage time against Fulham and with the full interview being released on Thursday, many felt that there would be serious repercussions for the incident.

It was predicted that the club are looking at legal spheres to sack Ronaldo but ultimately, in the best interest of both parties, there was an amicable solution involving no fuss and Ronaldo has been released by Manchester United and is now a free agent.

It is rather sour how the homecoming of the superstar, which had brought on hopes of so many of the good times returning to the club ended in the manner that it did.

Cristiano Ronaldo's time at Manchester United comes to an end
Cristiano Ronaldo’s time at Manchester United comes to an end (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Now, with Ronaldo gone, the historic no.7 jersey is vacant in the United dressing room and it would be interesting to see who is the next chosen one to carry on the tradition.

No.7 is special mainly due to the legendary players who have donned the jersey while representing the club which include the likes of George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Bryan Robson and of course Cristiano Ronaldo.

With the jersey vacant, it would be sure to conclude that many players would be eyeing to get their hands on it, with two particular players in Jadon Sancho and Antony looking potentially the players that would be favourites for it.

Sancho donned the no.7 jersey in his impressive spell at Borussia Dortmund and while he was given no.25 on his move to United, one could argue that at present he is the most suited to be given the jersey number.

Sancho and Antony would be fighting for the vacant no.7 jersey
Sancho and Antony could be fighting for the vacant no.7 jersey (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Antony, on the other hand, has also donned no.7 in his career and knowing the importance that the number resonates, the Brazilian would be ready to fight his fellow teammate Sancho for it. It is, however, worth keeping in mind that the duo could very well also choose to continue with the numbers that they have. Sancho dons 25 and Antony, 21.

Ideally, the jersey number should be left vacant until the end of the season, which could give us a whole better idea of who deserves to wear it among the two, or if there is also a surprise candidate on the list. You must prove that you’re worthy of the number or it could be a burden too heavy to bear.

Antony’s confidence is on another level. One would fancy him to continue playing the way he does no matter what number is put on his back – but he is still young and like Sancho, can use some time to acclimatise before being given a jersey number that carries so much weight – on and off the field.

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For now, it is the day to be heartfelt over how the spell of one of the most iconic no.7s in the game came to an end for us and a new journey awaits under the Erik ten Hag era.

Written by Yuvraj Singh

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