Romelu Lukaku has revealed he will wear the Manchester United No.9 shirt vacated after receiving “permission” from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Lukaku has finalised £75 million move from Everton after undergoing a medical on Saturday, and will meet up with his new team-mates in Los Angeles as they begin their pre-season preparations.
And he has revealed that he has already chosen to don the No.9 jersey, succeeding the departing Ibrahimovic in the iconic jersey.
“I always asked my mother what number, and I used to play with the 10 because my mother’s birthday is on Oct. 10, so it’s the 10th month of the year,” he told ESPN.
“That’s why I played with No. 10. I asked for the number nine because I’m a striker.
“Strikers play with No.9. It’s a nice number, and I asked the permission of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I want to thank him, as well, for allowing me to wear that number.”
The 24-year-old becomes the eighth United player to be given the number nine since the introduction of squad numbering in 1993. Brian McClair, Andy Cole, Louis Saha, Dimitar Berbatov, Radamel Falcao and Anthony Martial had all worn the shirt before Ibrahimovic arrived at the club last summer, with Martial being reallocated the number 11.
TNOW was a belief that Lukaku may make a straight swap with Wayne Rooney, who has taken the Belgian’s Everton number 10 shirt after returning to Goodison Park. But the famous United number 10 remains vacant for now with Lukaku favouring the number he wears for his national team instead.
Lukaku could make his United debut on Saturday night when Jose Mourinho’s side take on LA Galaxy at the StubHub Center in their first pre-season fixture of the summer.