Erik ten Hag ‘offered’ former Chelsea favourite Mason Mount the iconic number seven shirt at Manchester United to show exactly how much the Premier League giants wanted him.

It would have made sense for Mason Mount to inherit the number 19 shirt he wore at Chelsea, freeing up Raphael Varane to take the number four, and then leaving Alejandro Garnacho to don the jersey vacated by his idol Cristiano Ronaldo. 

At least, that was the view of many Manchester United supporters; the Red Devils agreeing a £55 million fee for a player who emerged as Erik ten Hag’s top midfield target.

So while there was surprise in some quarters when it was announced that Mount would instead be taking arguably the most famous shirt number in European football, the Daily Mail points out that Ten Hag’s decision to hand his new signing the jersey made iconic by Ronaldo, George Best, David Beckham and Eric Cantona was all part of a wider plan. 

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Manchester United UNveil New Signing Mason Mount
Photo by Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images

Mason Mount gets iconic shirt number at Old Trafford

Ten Hag reportedly offered Mount the number seven shirt to ‘underline’ just how serious Manchester United’s interest was.

It was a massive show of faith in a player who may have been left feeling a little undervalued as Chelsea allowed the academy graduate’s contract to enter it’s final 12 months

“It’s never easy leaving the club where you grew up. But Manchester United will provide an exciting new challenge for the next phase of my career,” Mount explains; reportedly turning down both Arsenal and Liverpool in favour of joining Three Lions team-mates Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford at Old Trafford.

“Having competed against them, I know just how strong a squad it is that I’m joining. I can’t wait to be part of this group’s drive to win major trophies.”

The presence of Ten Hag himself, meanwhile, was another substantial factor in Mount’s decision.

The former Ajax boss will hope to recapture the form that saw the Champions League winner produce 29 goals or assists in 2021/22.

As many as Bruno Fernandes produced in 2022/23; 14 goals, 15 assists.

“Everyone can see that the club has made big steps forward under Erik ten Hag,” Mount adds. Having met with the manager and discussed his plans, I couldn’t be more excited for the seasons ahead. And (I) am ready for the hard work expected here.

“I am hugely ambitious. I know how amazing it feels to win major trophies and what it takes to do it. I’ll be giving everything to experience that again at Manchester United.”

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