Manchester United have revealed new signing Amad Diallo will wear the number 19 shirt following the completion of his high profile transfer from Atalanta this month.
United secured a deal to sign Diallo back in October, subject to being granted a work permit. The paperwork has been filed and the club was able to register the transfer this week.
Diallo has been assigned the vacant number 19 shirt last worn by home-grown hero Marcus Rashford until 2018. He is clearly well of its recent legacy, referencing the jersey’s former occupant with a string of emojis – including hearts – in a social media comment.
As well as confirming the teenager’s shirt number, United also revealed that the player will go by his first name and continue to have ‘Amad’ adorn the back of his shirts instead.
Aside from Rashford, United’s number 19 has been worn by plenty of famous players, including Danny Welbeck, Gerard Pique and Edwin van der Sar in the last 15 years alone.
Perhaps its most famous wearer is treble winning star Dwight Yorke between 1998 and 2002. Ronny Johnsen wore for a year it when he first arrived in 1996, while 19 was also the first senior squad number assigned to Nicky Butt way back in 1993.
There had been speculation that Diallo could ask to wear 79 for United, the same jersey he had at Atalanta. However, while the Premier League doesn’t have strict rules on shirt numbers like La Liga or Ligue 1, league officials did intervene when Swansea tried to register loan signing Renato Sanches with his preferred number 85 shirt in 2017. It was explained at the time that first-team shirt numbers should run roughly consecutively and not be massively removed from the rest of the squad.
Additionally, it is now the case at many top clubs that reserve and academy players are automatically also assigned squad numbers, with those numbers easily running into the 80s and 90s because of the sheer volume of players on the books.
United’s number 79 shirt is already occupied by 16-year-old Norwegian Isak Hansen.