4 Jul 2012

Valencia Rewarded With Iconic No.7 Shirt As Sir Alex Hints At More New Arrivals

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has rewarded Antonio Valencia for his superb performances last season when he won the players and fans player of the season, by handing him the iconic no.7 shirt previously worn by United legends George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

It's the shirt that Valencia was reluctant to accept back in 2009 when he joined United the same summer legend Cristiano Ronaldo left for Real Madrid in a world record £80million transfer.

“I take the shirt with pride, but also with humility,” said Valencia. “The number 7 is very special. In recent years, few players have worn it. When I received the call [to wear no.7] I did not hesitate to say yes, I wanted the shirt. I just want to keep playing and keep giving joy to the people of Ecuador and Manchester.”

Valencia also took to twitter to confirm the news by tweeting: “I humbly accept the historic #7. Will do my best. Thanks to God, my family, ManUtd and all the fans for believing in me!”

The no.7 shirt had been left vacant by the departed Michael Owen who's contract was not renewed by the reds this summer following a spell at the club constantly interrupted by injuries.

Japanese midfielder Kagawa, who was signed from Borussia Dortmund for £17m, will wear the vacant 26 shirt, while teenage play maker Powell, who was brought in from Crewe, has taken Valencia’s former number 25 jersey.

When speaking about Uniteds work in the transfer market this summer Sir Alex hinted at more new arrivals this summer saying:

“There’s a possibility (there could be more signings). We’re working on one or two things,” revealed Sir Alex.

“We always try to get our work done at the end of the season – we spent a good deal of time sorting the deal with Shinji and we’d agreed a deal with Nick Powell before the play-offs, which was a good move by us because the boy had an outstanding final at Wembley.

“When you don’t get deals done immediately and you’re negotiating with a club over a long period then you can’t expect to just snap your fingers and get it done.

“It’s a matter of gradually getting to a point where both clubs are satisfied and then having the opportunity, hopefully, to speak to the player.”

It would appear that Sir Alex is currently casting his eye over possible transfer targets to add to his squad, but only expect further arrivals if the club sees "value in the market"