Manchester United are edging closer to an agreement with Barcelona over the transfer of midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
The Barcelona star could help new manager Erik ten Hag usher in a fresh era at Old Trafford, with the days of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick now firmly in the past.
While the two clubs continue to mull over the deal, here’s De Jong’s shirt number history and what jersey he could take at United.
For his breakout 2016/17 season with Ajax, De Jong was bestowed with the number 21 shirt. He hasn’t looked back since, admitting it is his preferred number of choice.
In 2019, he revealed: “I feel comfortable with that number.
“I could easily play with another number, you know, it’s not a problem, but it is nice that it also gives people a way of recognising me.
“I brought my whole family to my presentation in Barcelona, except my grandfather Hans de Jong, my father’s father. He died on the day of my 21st birthday. Unconsciously it is also a kind of tribute. He was a huge football fan.”
Upon his move to Barcelona in 2019, De Jong was again given his favoured number. It had previously been worn by Carles Alena, but his fringe status in the squad meant a switch was not an issue.
In the three seasons he’s been at Camp Nou he has kept that shirt.
In international football, the numbers players wear are often a departure from the regularity of club football, given every big star has their personal favourites.
For his debut for the Netherlands in 2018, De Jong replaced Georginio Wijnaldum sporting the number 25. For his second appearance, the Dutchman sported 23.
He has also taken the number seven on occasion, but his current importance to the Holland side means he has held down his preferred 21 shirt in recent years.
There’s still a long way to go, but the noises around De Jong’s prospective move to Manchester United are positive for Red Devils fans.
Daniel James and Edinson Cavani have worn the 21 shirt in recent years, but the former left for Leeds last season and the latter departed following the expiry of his contract.
That’s great news for De Jong, who has a free run at the number should he decide to swap Camp Nou for Old Trafford.