Manchester City have confirmed that full-back Joao Cancelo will wear the number seven shirt next season following Raheem Sterling‘s departure to Chelsea.
Sterling joined the West Londoners in a deal worth around £47.5 million last week, ending his hugely successful seven-year spell at the Etihad Stadium.
The 27-year-old leaves the Citizens with 131 goals and 94 assists in 337 appearances across all competitions, as well as 11 trophies, including four Premier League titles.
When Sterling arrived from Liverpool in the summer of 2015, he was immediately given the number seven shirt.
Cancelo has decided to change his squad number from No.27 to No.7 for the upcoming season, according to City.
Cancelo was photographed with the number seven emblazoned on his training gear while on the club’s pre-season tour of the United States.
The Citizens’ versatile and attacking full-back will join the ranks of Georgi Kinkladze, Peter Barnes, Mike Summerbee, Stephen Ireland, and Robbie Fowler in wearing the No.7 shirt.
Cancelo has previously worn the number seven shirt for both Valencia and Inter Milan, as well as the number 70 for Benfica.
Cancelo struggled to establish himself as a regular starter under Pep Guardiola after joining from Juventus in the summer of 2019, but the 28-year-old has since become a key cog in the Spaniard’s well-oiled machine, operating at both right-back and left-back.
Cancelo’s performances over the last two years have been recognized by his selection to the PFA Premier League Team of the Season for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.
In his three seasons at City, the Portugal international has made 128 appearances, scoring seven goals and providing 17 assists.
Man City’s four new signings have also been assigned squad numbers ahead of the new season, with striker Erling Braut Haaland taking the No.9 spot following Gabriel Jesus’ departure to Arsenal.
England international midfielder Kalvin Phillips will replace club legend and former captain Vincent Kompany in the number four jersey.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Stefan Ortega has been assigned the number 18 jersey, while January signing Julian Alvarez has been assigned the number 19.