Will Marcel Sabitzer become Man United’s new No. 7?
Marcel Sabitzer could be assigned his dream shirt number at Manchester United after he completed his deadline-day switch to Old Trafford.
After Christian Eriksen was ruled out for at least three months due to injury, United quickly worked on a loan deal to sign the Austrian midfielder from Bayern Munich.
Sabitzer was spotted arriving at Munich airport ahead of his flight to Manchester.
The 28-year-old had already agreed to personal terms and he officially joined the club on a straight loan with no option or obligation to buy.
Manchester United were offered a host of midfielders including free agent Isco, Atletico Madrid’s Saul and Yannick Carrasco and Lyon’s Houssem Aouar, but preferred Sabitzer.
Sabitzer has played 54 games for Bayern since moving to the German heavyweights from RB Leipzig in the summer of 2022.
However, he fell down in the pecking order, with Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Jamal Musiala starting ahead of him.
And with the Bundesliga giants securing the services of Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer from July 2023, it is clear that Sabitzer does not have a Bayern future.
But his loan move to Manchester United could offer him a second chance, especially because the Premier League club have a number of midfield injuries.
With four competitions still at stake, Sabitzer has been identified as the man to solve those short-term selection issues for Erik Ten Hag.
After signing for the club, Sabitzer could grab his dream shirt number, with the famous number 7 still left unassigned after Cristiano Ronaldo left the club for a second time.
Manchester United might not allow a loan player to take up such an iconic number, but Sabitzer wore number 7 throughout his seven-year stay at Leipzig.
He wore 18 for Bayern and typically wears number 9 for the Austrian national team.
Should number 7 not be an option for Sabitzer at Old Trafford, he could choose between 13, 15, 24, 32 and 35.
Marcel Sabitzer said: “Sometimes in life you have to make quick and important decisions. From the moment I heard about this opportunity I knew it was right for me.
“I am a competitive player; I want to win and help the club achieve its aims this season.
“I feel that I am at my peak as a player and that I can contribute a lot of experience and energy to the squad.
“I’m excited to start with my new team-mates and manager and to show my qualities to Manchester United fans.”
Although he is predominantly a central midfielder, Sabitzer has the versatility to play a number of positions.
It is expected that he will replace Eriksen and while the Dane is more creative, Sabitzer offers more mobility and box-to-box threat.
The Austrian also has a knack for scoring from long range.
It will be intriguing to see how he adapts to the Premier League as well as the number he will be get.