Memphis Depay's squad number revealed as he trains with Manchester United for the first time... but is it cursed?

New signing all smiles as players return to Carrington for pre-season

Tom Sheen
Wednesday 08 July 2015 00:57

New Manchester United signing Memphis Depay joined his team-mates for the first time on Monday as the squad begun pre-season.

Louis van Gaal's squad will jet off to California for their two week, four game pre-season tour of the US from next week, but arrived at their Carrington training complex for the first time since the end of last season.

The 21-year-old, who has been United's only bit of incoming transfer business so far this summer, was also handed his squad number as he trained for the first time - the No 26.

As United fans will note, that number hasn't had the best history, with no real standout player to ever wear the shirt.

The shirt was pretty much vacant last season but was assigned to Shinji Kagawa; the Japanese midfielder was very talented but never settled to life in the Premier League,

Before Kagawa the shirt was worn by French winger and before that Manucho. A string of youngsters were handed the shirt in the mid-00s, with Phil Bardsley, Daniel Pugh and Mark Wilson all appearing for the Red Devils in the No 26.

Italian goalkeeper Massimo Taibi wore the shirt in his one disastrous season at Old Trafford. Before him Chris Casper, another youth team product, had the shirt for five years but only ever made two Premier League appearances under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Luckily for Depay, the shirt numbering is not final at this stage of the season. He is likely to wear the number on the pre-season tour but last summer Luke Shaw wore the No 28 before being given the No 3 ahead of the season.

Numbers 9, 15, 19, 23, and 24 are currently free, while the sales of other players like Javier Hernandez (14) or Robin van Persie (20) would free up those numbers for Depay.

Depay has also been rated the third most valuable young player in Europe.

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