Manchester City have confirmed that star full-back Joao Cancelo will now wear the club’s number seven shirt following the departure of Raheem Sterling to Chelsea.
Sterling had worn the shirt ever since his 2015 arrival from Liverpool, with Cancelo occupying City’s number 27 shirt since he joined from Juventus in 2019.
Cancelo is the latest City number seven, a shirt made famous in recent decades by the likes of cult hero Georgi Kinkladze. It was regularly worn by club legend Mike Summerbee in the 1960 and 1970s, while others in the Premier League era include James Milner, Stephen Ireland and David Rocastle.
Although not a jersey typically worn by defenders, Cancelo personally has a strong connection with seven. He wore it at former clubs Inter and Valencia, while his first senior number at Benfica was 70.
Manchester City say it is ‘in keeping with Cancelo’s versatile attacking style’.
Cancelo initially struggled when he joined City, with his debut season in England severely interrupted by a three-month suspension of the season amid the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. But he found his feet in 2020/21 and has been one of the first names on Pep Guardiola’s team sheet ever since.
Other new City shirt numbers for the forthcoming season include the number nine jersey assigned to Erling Haaland and the number four given to Kalvin Phillips.