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Memphis Depay needs to embrace the Manchester United No 7 shirt - it's not cursed, says David Beckham

'It was always an inspiration for me'

Tom Sheen
Thursday 19 November 2015 11:06 GMT
Memphis Depay
Memphis Depay (GETTY IMAGES)

Manchester United great David Beckham has offered a word of advice to struggling forward Memphis Depay.

The Dutchman arrived to much fanfare over the summer but has not adapted well to life in England, scoring just four goals in all competitions.

The 21-year-old last started a match on 4 October, when he was hauled off at half-time at the Emirates in a dreadful 3-0 defeat to Arsenal. His only goal in the Premier League came in the win against lowly Sunderland.

Depay took over Manchester United's famous No 7 shirt in the summer, which has previously been worn by club greats like George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

But since the Portuguese's departure in 2009, fans have started to talk of a 'curse'. The shirt has since been worn by Michael Owen, a bit-part player, Antonio Valencia, who had his worst season at the club in the shirt and £59million flop Angel Di Maria.

Depay's poor start to life at Old Trafford has further fueled the talk, but Beckham says Depay should forget the pressure of wearing it.

"The No 7 is special for Manchester United. I don't see it as an intimidation, I see it as an honour," said the former England captain.

"When you get given the No 7 shirt, it doesn't matter who has worn it in the past or what that player has achieved.

"It's special and personally I don't think it comes with any pressure. It was always an inspiration for me. What has happened to the No 7 in the last couple of years doesn't interest me."

 Beckham in the No 7 shirt
 (Getty Images)

With Anthony Martial leaving Wembley Stadium in crutches on Tuesday night, Depay could return to the starting XI.

Beckham again wore the No 7 shirt at Old Trafford when he organised and played in the Unicef charity match against a World XI last week.

He added: "I always wanted the No 7 shirt because of Bryan Robson and Eric Cantona, but I never thought I'd get it.

"Then the manager called me and said he'd signed Teddy Sheringham and he wanted No 10. There wasn't really a conversation to be honest! I didn't argue the fact.

"I've never seen it as my shirt. It was George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona. I just want whoever is No 7 to do well and keep Manchester United as one of the best clubs in the world, if not the best."

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