Romelu Lukaku’s exit from Manchester United is looking increasingly likely.
One way or another, with or without Paulo Dybala in exchange, Lukaku seemingly has little desire to stay, and a departure is in our interests.
His exit would vacate the number nine shirt, which he took from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2017.
There might be a few options to take the number nine shirt, but there is one standout case, Anthony Martial.
Martial had the number nine shirt for one season back in 2015/16.
That was his best season at United, when he was played through the middle.
When United unceremoniously moved him aside for Zlatan in 2016, Martial was immediately unsettled.
His number nine shirt went too, and he has not been the same since, being maddeningly inconsistent.
This pre-season we have seem a glimmer of the old Anthony Martial.
He has been given a chance to lead the line up front, and looked effective, playing with confidence, and a smile on his face.
Giving him back the number nine shirt could be the final piece of solving the Martial puzzle, and making him feel valued again.
There are alternatives, namely Marcus Rashford, possibly Paulo Dybala if there is a swap deal, or a crazily bold move to give it to Mason Greenwood.
But it’s the option to hand the famous shirt to Martial which makes the most sense.
And we have full confidence he would outscore Lukaku’s goal tally of just 12 league goals last season, may be even double it.
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