Michael Owen could hardly have made a better start as the latest player to wear the number seven shirt for United.
Two goals in his first two matches, albeit Asia Tour friendlies, suggest Sir Alex was right to give his new guy the famous garment. "It's been worn by high-profile players at our club over the years but Michael has the experience to handle that honour," said the boss.
Although the rulebook would permit the boss to change his list before the season kicks off, Owen is all set to become United's fourth number seven since Premier League squad numbers were introduced in August 1993. Can he prosper like the previous three?
1992-97: Eric Cantona
Eric seemed made for the shirt from the day he arrived in December 1992, when the players were still numbered one to eleven for each game. So although Bryan Robson, the predominant number seven of the '80s, was still at the club in 1993/94 when squad numbers were introduced, Eric was the first player to be assigned seven permanently.
1997-2003: David Beckham
Seven was Beckham's fourth squad number at United. He wore 28 in the league during his debut season, 1994/95, then switched to 24 for his first full campaign in 1995/96. He was