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Roy Keane says he turned down the no.7 jersey at Manchester United, admitting having the no.16 squad number kept him 'on his toes' during the club's glory filled years in the 1990s.
Speaking in his second autobiography Second Half, Keane tells how Sir Alex Ferguson wanted him to succeed Eric Cantona in the famous number at Old Trafford, as well as taking over the captaincy from the departing Frenchman.
“The captaincy is important, but squad numbers can have an importance, too." Keane Said: "The manager pulled me into his office and said that he wanted me to wear the ‘7’. I said, ‘No, I’m not bothered."
David Beckham had broken into the fold wearing 24 as part of the 'class of 92', moving to the no.10 in 1996 when we announced himself by lobbing Neil Sullivan at Selhurst Park on the opening day of the 1996/97 Premier League season against Wimbledon.
As Beckham's personal stardom began to develop, Keane says it was a problem and felt his teammate thought he was 'bigger than Sir Alex Ferguson'.
Despite not agreeing to the showbiz side of the former England captain, Keane admits he felt it was a good idea to hand Beckham the shirt, letting the manager know his thoughts.
“Becks got it, and it suited him – and Cantona. Ronaldo had it after Becks.”
Currently, Edinson Cavani wears the shirt. Before him it had some what lost its value after signings Angel Di Maria, Memphis Depay and Alexis Sanchez failed to build a sustained amount of substance to its legacy, made famous through Cantona, Brian Robson and George Best.
On the future heir of the shirt, it is suspected that Jadon Sancho will make the transition from no.25 to no.7 in the future, the same path that right back Antonio Valencia took during his spell at the Red Devils.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images
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