Man United may have created a bit of a conflict in their squad with this snub of Anthony Martial in favour of Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Age may just be a number but the digit on the back of a football jersey is far more important.
The sensitive egos involved in professional football often put a lot of stock in what number they are given at a club, especially if it is 7, 9 or 10, which are traditionally worn by the marquee attacking players.
Manchester United delayed the release of their squad numbers ahead of the new season, and it appears that in trying to placate one of their new stars, they may have snubbed one of their young talents.
Anthony Martial wore the number nine jersey for Manchester United during his impressive first season at Old Trafford, but in the club's news release the Red Devils confirmed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will take over the number when he starts his career in England.
You wouldn't think such a move would cause much controversy if team bosses explained the transition to Martial, but RMC Sport journalist Mohamed Bouhafsi is reporting that the club didn't even tell the French striker, and it appears the youngster isn't pleased about the move.
It will be interesting to see whether something as seemingly trivial as a shirt number could become a big issue between the two attackers as the new season gets underway.
Manchester United gave Zlatan Ibrahimovic the #9 shirt without informing Anthony Martial that they were taking it away from him !— Mohamed Bouhafsi (@mohamedbouhafsi) July 23, 2016
It's not about his number. It's a question of principle. Take a look at Martial's Facebook and you will understand ! https://t.co/1pq4T0Oicb— Mohamed Bouhafsi (@mohamedbouhafsi) July 23, 2016