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Andre Onana and Luke Shaw have one thing in common as Man United sign goalkeeper



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Credit: Imago

Andre Onana officially signed for Manchester United on Thursday evening on a five-year contract, with there being an option to extend a further year.

He will be replacing David de Gea as the first choice goalkeeper at the club, however, he will not be wearing the no.1 shirt.

It was confirmed that the Cameroon shot-stopper will instead don the no.24, which raised a few eyebrows of United fans who weren’t too familiar with his shirt number history.

Onana started his professional career with the shirt number 24 and wore it during prolonged periods at both Ajax and Inter Milan. His birthday is the 2nd of April, hence the choice in number.

Yet, there was one campaign where the goalkeeper swapped to the traditional no.1 – in 2017/18 with Ajax. During that season, the Amsterdam-based club came second in the Eredivisie to rivals Feyenoord and were knocked out of the qualifying rounds for both the Champions League and Europa League.

It was an unsuccessful campaign for Onana and his team. He decided to take back the no.24 in the following summer and Ajax would go onto have one of their most successful campaigns in recent memory, winning the league and domestic cup double as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Superstisions are not a rare thing in football, especially in relation to shirt numbers, one other Manchester United player has had a similar journey to Onana with his number.

Luke Shaw earned a big-money move to Old Trafford in 2014 after performing excellently for Southampton as a teenager – wearing the no.23 shirt for The Saints.

Following his move to United, and Patrice Evra’s exit in the same summer, Shaw was gifted the chance to take the no.3 shirt at his new club.

The left-back would wear the shirt number for his debut season before switching back to his no.23 from St Mary’s. And whilst it didn’t provide him with the immediate luck that his new teammate received, he is now playing a key role for Ten Hag’s side with the obscure shirt number for a first-team regular.

“It’s the number I feel comfortable with and it’s probably the number that I want to carry on with until I finish my career,” said Shaw after making the switch back in 2015.