When Romelu Lukaku signed for Manchester United, he revealed that he had asked Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s permission to wear the no.9 shirt. Given the Swede was no longer on United’s books, this showed the respect Lukaku had asking for Zlatan’s old shirt number.
Ibrahimovic has told ESPN he’s happy that Lukaku has signed as it means that United are stronger, despite Wayne Rooney’s departure. Although the former captain’s departure has freed up the no.10 shirt for Ibrahimovic.
Yeah, I’m happy he came. I think the team is much stronger this season, although we lost Rooney, a legend.
Signing Lukaku makes us even stronger because he has different qualities from me as a striker and from Rashford as a striker. He is a powerful guy and he brings extra qualities in a game.
Lukaku called me and said “bro can I get the number 9 shirt?”. I said “I’m not on that level that I will make it difficult for you, I just want you to feel happy and feel welcome. So I give you the number 9. But I will take the number 10”. That’s the way we do it. So I never left, I just upgraded my number.