When Robin van Persie signed for the club he chose #20, with the reason behind it being that he wanted to help Manchester United win their 20th title this season. A contributing factor will have also been that the #9 shirt still belonged to Dimitar Berbatov, whose transfer to Fulham had yet to be finalised.
Van Persie has confirmed that, despite #9 now being available, he will keep #20 for next season.
“I think I’ll keep it [the no.20 shirt],” he told United Review. “I have the option to take no.9 but I don’t think I’ll do that. I’ll stick with what is right and what feels good. Also, I don’t want to be harsh to the fans who have no.20 on their kit. I don’t want them to have to buy a new shirt. [No.20] has been a good number for me. I’ll stick with it.”
When players change their shirt numbers it dates the replica shirts fans have with the old numbers on the back. However, with United winning the 20th title this season, I can’t imagine too many fans would be bothered if he played in #9 next season.