Man Utd legends Cole and Robson comment on Eriksen signing
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Manchester United’s squad for next season finally appears to be taking shape as Erik ten Hag is set to add two more names to his ranks. The Red Devils confirmed on Friday that Christian Eriksen has joined to become the Dutchman’s second signing of the summer, while United are also on the cusp of concluding a deal for Ajax ace Lisandro Martinez.
Having already moved to recruit Tyrell Malacia from Feyenoord, United confirmed the arrival of free agent Eriksen on Friday. The Dane successfully revived his career with Brentford during the second half of last season following his life-threatening collapse at Euro 2020. Having seen United endure a stuttering start to their summer transfer business, the club’s fans won’t have to wait long for another new arrival as Martinez is on the verge of following the 30-year-old to Old Trafford.
The 24-year-old defender flew into Manchester on Friday night ahead of his medical on Saturday, and United are now awaiting approval of the player’s visa before confirming his signing. The versatile Argentine predominantly plays as a centre-back but will provide Ten Hag with some invaluable cover at left-back and in midfield.
With the pair the latest to join Ten Hag’s team, Express Sport take a closer look at the shirt numbers Eriksen and Martinez could well be handed. And if their shirt history is anything to go by, the pair could find themselves arguing over a couple of options…
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With Paul Pogba having departed Old Trafford for Juventus own a free transfer for the second time in his career, the No.6 is vacant once more. While both Eriksen and Martinez could theoretically take the shirt featuring the only unoccupied number below 11, the latter appears the most likely candidate to claim it.
Martinez briefly wore the shirt during the 2017-18 campaign while with his native Defensa y Justicia, and has previously been handed the number while on international duty with Argentina. Prior to Pogba, the No.6 jersey was worn by central defenders Wes Brown and Jonny Evans – another reason to suggest Martinez could inherit it.
While there are in fact four more numbers below 20 which are available, including 14 – the integer Martinez wore at first club, Newell’s Old Boys – it seems more likely that United’s new signings could occupy shirt numbers in the twenties. Both Eriksen and Martinez are familiar with the No.21 jersey in particular.
Martinez possessed the number in each of his four seasons with Ajax, while Eriksen inherited it at Brentford after joining the Bees back in January. It seems highly likely that one of the pair will continue sporting the No.21 shirt next season, but which one of the two will it be?
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A number last owner by right-back Timothy Fosu-Mensah, the 23 shirt is another which could well be claimed in the coming weeks. Eriksen in particular appears the most likely to plump for it given he wore it in each of his seven seasons with Tottenham.
Much like the No.21 shirt, there could well be a tussle over who is afforded the honour of wearing United’s No.24. It is, after all, a number both Eriksen and Martinez have worn before.
The latter occupied the shirt during most of his time at Defensa y Justicia, while Eriksen wore it in both of his two seasons with Inter Milan. The No.24 clear bought the Dane good fortune, as he helped the Nerazzurri claim their first Serie A title in 11 years, back in 2021, while wearing it. How United hope Eriksen can inspire the same level of success in the Premier League.
Other numbers below 30 available: 13, 14, 15, 18.
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