Juan Mata unveiling: Meet Manchester United's new No 8...will he have more success in the shirt than Anderson?

Speculation was rife that he had chosen to wear No 7 before his unveiling

Juan Mata has surprised everyone by revealing he will sport the less memorable No 8 shirt at Manchester United, not the iconic No 7.

The Spanish midfielder, who joined from Chelsea for £37.1m, will hope to have more success in it than its previous owner - the Brazilian midfielder Anderson, whose largely forgettable spell at United appears to have ended after he joined Fiorentina on loan for the rest of the season.

The previous incumbent before Anderson was Wayne Rooney, who then decided he would rather sport No 10, and then midfielders Nicky Butt and Paul Ince before him.

But is the No 7 shirt at Old Trafford now a poisoned chalice? The last owner, Antonio Valencia ditched the shirt because of the pressure it held, and the England international Michael Owen failed to set the world alight in it.

So the search now continues for the next wearer of that red No 7 shirt, following in the footsteps of George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

 

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