Ranking every Manchester United number seven in the Premier League era from worst to best

Manchester United Number seven

The Manchester United number seven shirt is one of the most iconic in football. Some of United’s greatest ever players have worn the number, with George Best, Nobby Stiles, Ray Wilkins and Bryan Robson among its wearers but who are the best to have worn it in the Premier League era.

Ten players have worn the Manchester United number seven shirt in the Premier League era.

We’ve ranked every Manchester United number seven in the Premier League era from worst to best:

10) Alexis Sanchez

Nobody embodies the recent disappointments in the Manchester United number seven shirt more than Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez.

Sanchez arrived from Arsenal amid high expectations in January 2018 and on a reported £400,000-per-week contract but the failed to match the heights the shirt demands.

He scored just 5 goals in 45 appearances for Manchester United before leaving for Inter Milan, first on loan and then on a permanent deal.

9) Memphis Depay
Signed for around £30m, Depay joined Manchester United after lighting up the Eredivisie with PSV, scoring 22 league goals in 30 appearances in his final season for PSV.

He scored just two Premier League goals for the club before joining Lyon on a permanent deal in January 2017 after failing to impress under Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.

He now plays for Spanish club Barcelona.

8) Angel Di Maria

Angel Di Maria was the first big signing of the post-Fergie era, a club-record transfer, and arrived from Real Madrid with a huge pedigree.

He was signed for a whopping £67.5m after starring for Real Madrid in their 13/14 Champions League-winning campaign.

After a fine start and a truly wonderful chip against Leicester, it went downhill from there on as he failed to show up in the second half of the season.

The Argentine joined French club PSG for £44.3million in 2015 after just one season at Manchester United.

7) Michael Owen

Michael Owen arrived at Old Trafford during the twilight of his career, and was the first player to be handed the number seven shirt after Cristiano Ronaldo departed for Real Madrid.

The 2001 Ballon d’Or winner spent three seasons under Sir Alex Ferguson, winning his only Premier League title in 2011 which he couldn’t achieve with his boyhood club Liverpool.

Owen found himself behind Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov in the pecking order and struggled with injuries during his three years at the club.

A Champions League hat-trick against Wolfsburg and a 96th-minute winner against Manchester City were among his highlights as a Manchester United player.

6) Antonio Valencia

Valencia joined in the same summer as Owen and was reportedly turned down the No.7 shirt, opting for No. 25 instead.

Having won United’s Player of the Year award in 2011-12, Valencia was then handed the prestigious No.7 shirt.

Valencia struggled to deal with the pressure of wearing the No.7 shirt in the 2012-13 season, scoring just once for United in 30 Premier League appearances.

He dropped the No.7 shirt after wearing it for one season and found a new lease of life after reverting back to his old No.25.

Valencia proved himself an invaluable servant to the club when with the No.25 shirt but struggled in his only season wearing the No.7 shirt.

5) Edinson Cavani

The Uruguay international joined Manchester United after his Paris Saint-Germain contract expired in the summer of 2020 and quickly became a fan favourite at Old Trafford, scoring 17 goals in 39 appearances in all competitions in his debut season.

He scored important goals for Manchester United including a brace in both ties of the Europa League semi-final against Roma.

He spent just one season wearing the No.7 shirt and he handed it over to Cristiano Ronaldo in his second season at the club.

4) Andrei Kanchelskis

Alex Ferguson wanted a fast and skilful right-winger as part of his early Manchester United teams, and finally found one in Andrei Kanchelskis.

He was just one of 11 foreign players to start the Premier League in the 1992-93 season and was a key player for Manchester United as we won the maiden Premier League season.

He scored 3 goals in 27 league games appearances, as United’s 26-year league title wait came to an end.

The shirt was then taken from him by Eric Cantona the following season.

3) David Beckham

The Manchester United academy graduate is one of the best players to have worn the No.7 shirt for Manchester United.

Manchester United are yet to find a player with his ability in dead-ball situations, nor a player capable of planting a football so perfectly on the head of a striker.

Beckham played a key role in Manchester United’s greatest ever seasons as United won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in 1998-99.

Beckham left Manchester United for Real Madrid in 2003.

2) Eric Cantona

Cantona joined Manchester United from Leeds United for £1 million on 26 November 1992.

Cantona was the catalyst for Manchester United’s success and helped the club to four Premier League titles and two FA Cups before announcing his shock retirement in 1997.

He scored 82 goals in 185 appearances for United and Manchester United fans have not seen a player quite like him since.

1) Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t just the greatest player to play for Manchester United, he is also the greatest player of all time.

Alongside Cantona, Ronaldo is one of the four players under his management who Sir Alex Ferguson considered ‘world-class’.

Ronaldo inherited the No.7 shirt from Beckham and took the shirt to another level.

Ronaldo won three league titles with United, an FA Cup and a Champions League before leaving to join Real Madrid for a then world record transfer fee of £80million in 2009.

After 12 years at Real Madrid and Juventus, Ronaldo returned to Manchester United last summer. He scored 24 goals in all competitions for Manchester United last season despite the team’s poor season.