Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez would be the ideal candidate to fill the number seven shirt at Manchester United, according to former captain Bryan Robson. The Chile international is currently stalling over a new deal with the Gunners and has been heavily linked with a switch to Chelsea.
Though manager Arsene Wenger is unperturbed by the notion of Sanchez leaving the club, there is growing feeling that the former Barcelona star is preparing an exit strategy from North London. Paul Merson expects the 28-year-old to be allowed to leave the Blues for £50m ($62.2m) in the summer to ensure the club do not lose him for nothing when his contract expires in 2018, in similar fashion to how Robin van Persie departed in 2013.
Though Chelsea appear to be leading the race for Sanchez, there could be a vacant position in the United attack come the end of the season should Zlatan Ibrahimovic turn down the offer of a new deal orWayne Rooney departs to China. And Robson wants to see Sanchez fill the void, becoming the latest high-profile figure to don the club's number seven shirt.
"I know that Sanchez seems to be a bit unsettled at Arsenal," he told Sport Witness."He wears number seven at Arsenal. I wouldn't mind seeing Sanchez come in wearing the number seven for Manchester United."
United currently have no designated number seven but should Sanchez complete a shock move to Old Trafford he could join a list of legendary players to wear the shirt including Robson himself, George Best, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. Jose Mourinho has cited his team's poor finishing as their central weakness, a point he reiterated after their ninth home Premier League draw of the season to Everton.
Should Rooney indeed move to the Chinese Super League he would also leave the position as captain vacant. Juan Mata, Chris Smalling and Michael Carrick have all taken the armband this season but Robson feels world-record signing Paul Pogba has the leadership qualities to make the position his own.
"Mourinho will make that decision regarding who's captain, but once Paul Pogba is settled into the club again, gets used to the Premier League again, as long as he keeps improving, I think he's captain material," the former England international added. "I think Paul works really hard at his game. I think he wants to be one of best, if not the best, midfielder in the world, so he'll keep working at it, keep improving and become a real bright player for Manchester United."