Arsenal have announced a few shirt number changes ahead of the 2021/22 season.
First up was Thomas Partey as he’s swapped No.18 – which he took after sealing his £45million transfer from Atletico Madrid last summer – for his favoured no.5 which became available at the Emirates Stadium during the January transfer window when central defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos departed.
The next three shirt number alterations have all been for Hale End graduates.
Highly-rated goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo and striker Folarin Balogun have officially been promoted to the Arsenal first-team squad this summer and will wear no.33 and no.26 respectively next season.
But the most significant shirt number change of them all was announced on Thursday.
Along with signing a new long-term contract with the Gunners, Emile Smith Rowe has followed in the footsteps of Mesut Ozil, Dennis Bergkamp and Robin van Persie by being handed the iconic No.10 shirt.
Whilst the general reaction to this has been rather positive, it has sparked a debate from supporters on Reddit.
As Arsenal have been linked with a move for Leicester City’s James Maddison, there was a theory that the No.10 shirt was being saved for him if a £60million transfer was to be completed.
Of course, that’s no longer the case.
Although, Maddison’s admission about his preferred position has got Gunners fans talking.
“No.8 definitely,” Maddison said, as per Leicestershire Live. “I played as a No.10 at the start of last season, and then when the gaffer [Rodgers] came in, I transitioned into a No.8, and sometimes I play off the left.
“I don’t want to be labelled as a No.10. I’m not a No.10. I can’t remember a game where I’ve played as a No.10 this season, maybe West Ham at home.”
The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.
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Interestingly, the No.8 shirt is currently vacant at Arsenal following Dani Ceballos’ return to Real Madrid and judging by the responses below, that is being reserved for Maddison if he joins this summer.
TheUltimateCF said: “M8DDISON.”
k1ldn said: “The stars are aligning.”
_MkambaMjinga_ said: “Maddison 8. Aouar 88.”
volanger said: “Works for me. He and partey can lock up mid while saka, pepe, esr, and auba shred teams apart.”