Granit Xhaka was only recently handed the No.16 shirt that was vacated by Aaron Ramsey, but the Swiss international has quickly changed and adopted the No.29 instead (via the Express).
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Xhaka became our first signing of the summer in extraordinary fashion, with Arsene Wenger getting his business done incredibly early for once. He was very quickly given the No.16 shirt, which Ramsey left free after taking Mikel Arteta’s old No.8.
He has now requested the No.29 though, apparently due to it being the reverse of the year of his birth.
Arsenal released a new – and mildly entertaining – video on Twitter to announce the news, scratching out the 16 and replacing it with 29.
Check out the video below:
- BBC: Arsenal To Confirm Mkhitaryan Deal On Monday/Tuesday
- [Match Highlights] Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace – All The Goals And Best Bits
- [Player Ratings] Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace – Iwobi, Monreal & Wilshere Star For Gunners
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) May 31, 2016
The reasoning behind the number switch is a little questionable, as the significance of it being the reverse of his birth year seems pretty trivial. It was suspected that he’d want his favoured No.34 shirt when he arrived, but with Francis Coquelin currently occupying that number he’s obviously unable to do so.
He’s clearly a little superstitious about things like this, and has strong feelings about the number he’ll be wearing. It makes little difference to the Arsenal fans what number Xhaka wears this season, as long as he feels comfortable in it and gives his all. If wearing the No.29 makes him a better player, then so be it.
Arsenal transfer news
We’re hoping to see more players follow Xhaka to Arsenal this summer, with hopes high for next season already. We badly need reinforcements in a number of areas, and hopefully Arsene Wenger addresses the issues.