Sunday 16 December 2018

Why new Arsenal signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not be allowed to wear No 7 shirt in Europa League

Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Jack Austin

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been handed the No 7 shirt after signing for Arsenal from Manchester United on Monday, but he won’t be allowed to wear the number while playing in the Europa League.

The Armenian replaced Alexis Sanchez, who vacated the No 7 shirt this week, but, as a result of an obscure Uefa rule, he won’t be allowed to bear that number on his back during the Gunners’ European campaign.

Uefa rules (article 52 section 02) state that from the group stage “no number may be used by more than one player on a team and no player may use more than one number in the course of a season.”

That means Mkhitaryan will need to be assigned a second squad number for European competitions as the No 7 is already assigned to Sanchez, who wore the shirt number during Arsenal’s group stage win over Cologne back in September.

Sanchez, who takes the No 7 shirt at Manchester United, will be unaffected by the rule as the shirt number has been vacant at Old Trafford since Memphis Depay left the club.

Arsenal are yet to confirm what shirt number will be given to Mkhitaryan in the Europa League this season as a result.

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