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Mason Mount, Cristiano Ronaldo and the No 7 'curse' which has already claimed several victims at Man Utd

Ryan Smart

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Mason Mount, Cristiano Ronaldo and the No 7 'curse' which has already claimed several victims at Man Utd

Mason Mount will wear the number seven shirt at Manchester United, taking the number over from Cristiano Ronaldo.

The midfielder completed his move to Old Trafford from Chelsea on Wednesday for a reported fee of £55 million.

United didn't announce Mount's new number upon confirming his signing, leaving supporters guessing for a while before, finally, the club's new number seven was revealed.

Once upon a time, the Manchester United seven was one of the most iconic shirt numbers in football.

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George Best. Bryan Robson. Eric Cantona. David Beckham. All players who wore the famous number seven at Old Trafford.

Traditionally, the number seven is reserved for a winger, wide midfielder or forward - Robson being the exception out of the names above - which is why it made perfect sense for Ronaldo to take the shirt from Beckham, sold to Real Madrid, when he arrived at the club in the summer of 2003.

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That decision gave birth to 'CR7' - a fashion brand founded by Ronaldo but also the moniker in which he goes by online.

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After 118 goals in 292 appearances for United, a Champions League, three Premier Leagues and the 2008 Ballon d'Or, Ronaldo wrote his name into history as one of the club's most iconic number sevens.

Upon his exit to the Bernabeu in 2009, his replacement was never going to have an easy task. Sir Alex Ferguson handed the number to Michael Owen, who didn't achieve too much success barring *that* famous late Manchester derby winner in 2010.

Then it was given to the often underrated Antonio Valencia, who would later move to right-back before captaining the club under Jose Mourinho.

Since then, the history of the number seven hasn't been quite so impressive.

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Mount hoping to avoid Man Utd 'curse'

Since Valencia gave up the shirt in the summer of 2014, five players have worn the number seven at United. None of them are still at the club.

First there was Angel Di Maria, the big-money buy from Real Madrid that took the number in the aforementioned summer of 2014.

Barring a wondergoal against Leicester, and a player of the month award received that September, the Argentinian failed to impress at United, did not settle in Manchester and was sold to PSG the following summer.

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Big things were expected of the shirt's next occupant, Memphis Depay, when he was signed by Louis van Gaal in 2015. It has worked out everywhere else for the Dutchman - his superb stint at Lyon led to a move to Barcelona in 2021 - but he scored just two goals across his 18 months at United, and there was a feeling among some supporters that the move came too soon.

Then there was Alexis Sanchez, who arrived at Old Trafford as Depay was departing in January 2018. Signed on a free transfer from Arsenal, the forward was another to have little impact at the club.

Edinson Cavani, meanwhile, is probably the one player on the 'mini-list' who it would perhaps be harsh to group in with the term 'curse' - handed out by the Daily Mail last year.

The Uruguayan scored 17 goals in all competitions in his first campaign, earning himself a new contract, before giving up the number seven upon Ronaldo's return.

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The Portuguese legend likewise had an impressive first season back at the club, with 24 goals in all competitions. But his the half-season that followed saw him unable to live up to previous heights, and he departed the club via mutual consent in December.

Mount will be desperate to avoid the recent struggles associated with past number sevens at United and establish himself as a key player for the club.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Mason Mount, Manchester United, Premier League, Transfers, Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria, David Beckham, Alexis Sanchez

Ryan Smart
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