Manchester United announce squad numbers as Matteo Darmian is left out… and is No 5 being kept free for defensive January signing?
- Manchester United released their squad numbers for the new season on Friday
- Jose Mourinho’s side take on Leicester City in the opening Premier League game
- Marcos Rojo swapped to No 16 which leaves No 5 vacant for a January signing
- Italian right back Matteo Darmian has been left out signalling his departure
Manchester United have released their squad numbers for the new season with the No 5 shirt, vacated by Marcos Rojo, hinting at a defensive arrival in January.
Boss Jose Mourinho was left exasperated as the club failed to land him a new centre back this summer despite pursuits of Jerome Boateng, Harry Maguire, Diego Godin and Toby Alderweireld.
But Rojo has swapped No 5 for No 16 while the other notable news from the announcement is that Italian right back Matteo Darmian has been omitted, paving way for his exit before the end of the month.
Manchester United have released their squad numbers for the season with No 5 left vacant
Marcos Rojo has switched to No 16 which leaves No 5 vacant for a potential January signing
Rojo’s switch, while appearing to be a deadline day dig over lack of new faces, is likely to have been a personal choice given he wears No 16 for Argentina.
Previously the number has been taken by midfielder Michael Carrick but following his retirement and move on to the coaching staff, the number has been freed up.
For Darmian, a move abroad – given the transfer window for incomings has closed for the Premier League – now beckons.
Darmian’s outing in the No 36 shirt against Bayern Munich looks set to be his last for United
He has been mooted with a return to Serie A for the majority of the summer with Juventus, Inter Milan and Napoli all believed to be interested.
New right back Diogo Dalot takes the No 20 shirt, meaning back-up goalkeeper Sergio Romero moves to No 22. Third choice goalkeeper Lee Grant will wear No 13.
Axel Tuanzebe and Timothy Fosu-Mensah both left on loan in the summer window but still received an allocated number as they took No 38 and No 24 respectively.