Jonny Evans is hoping to emulate a succession of great United centre-backs following his recent move into the number six shirt.
The 23 year-old is set to play at left-back in Northern Ireland's Euro 2012 qualifiers with Serbia and Estonia, but it's in the middle where he's impressed for the Reds this month in the absence of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. The number six, previously worn by the likes of Gary Pallister and Jaap Stam, seemed to suit Evans as he rattled into tackles against Tottenham and Arsenal.
"I got a phone-call one day and they said the manager wanted to know if I wanted the number six shirt," revealed Evans.
"I said: 'Why not?' It's more of a defender's number than my old number, 23, and looks a bit nicer. Tom Cleverley's got 23 now and I'm sure he'll take good care of it.
"It's nice for the manager to give me number six as it shows confidence in me. Gary Pallister and Jaap Stam wore it. [Steve Bruce's son] Alex Bruce was on the phone saying I've got Pally's number and Phil Jones has got his dad's number, four, so it's a throwback to the old days."
Evans and the other in-form United players now take an enforced break from a flying start to the domestic campaign, with international fixtures being played this weekend and early next midweek. For Jonny, it's another opportunity to adapt and play at full-back where he's served most of his time with Northern Ireland.
"I can play anywhere across the back four and have been playing there quite a while for Northern Ireland. I'd say 90 per cent of my caps have been at full-back," assessed Evans.
"I think the situation with Northern Ireland is that we don't really have anyone capable of playing left-back at the minute but we've quite a lot of centre-backs - it's one of our strongest departments.
"I'm happy to play at left-back and get a bit of practice on my left peg. It also helps my fitness.