08/07/2012 09:47, Report by G Thompson, N Coppack

Antonio deserves no.7

Antonio Valencia is the perfect person to fill the iconic no.7 shirt, according to former team-mate Gary Neville.

The shirt, famously worn by the likes of Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo to name but a few, was unoccupied following Michael Owen's summer departure. announced on Wednesday that Valencia had asked for the shirt and Neville feels he is a fitting addition to the no.7 club.

"He’s been a fantastic signing for United and thoroughly deserves that no.7 shirt," the former skipper told

"Having played with him for a year or two, I can tell you he’s a brilliant footballer, especially to play behind as a right-back. He does the right things at the right time, he works back to help out when you don’t have the ball, he delivers good crosses and he can beat a man.

"He’s a real handful to play against and I was really pleased to see him score a few more goals last season. That’s probably the only area of the game in which you’d like to see an improvement.

"He has a wonderful shot and he stays calm under pressure. I’d love to see him chip in with 10 or 15 goals this season - he’s more than capable of doing that."

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