Manchester United’s No 7s have scored just 15 league goals in 10 YEARS since Cristiano Ronaldo left

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Manchester United 10 years ago sent shockwaves around the world – and it also left an indelible stain on the Red Devils’ famous No 7 shirt.

The Portuguese superstar, who has now won five Champions League titles and five Balon d’Ors, scored 84 goals from 196 chapter during his six-year stay at Old Trafford.

But since he departed for Real Madrid, those following in his foot-steps – and those of legends such as George Best, Bryan Robson, David Beckham and Eric Cantona – have only managed to cobble together 15 goals between them.

Michael Owen, Antonio Valencia, Angel Di Maria, Memphis Depay and current occupant Alexis Sanchez have collectively transformed the famous jersey into a cursed garment, possessing a goal return of just 1.5, on average per season.

Ronaldo’s immediate replacement, former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Newcastle forward Owen, appeared to offer a miserly return but with the magic of hindsight, his goalscoring prowess looks almost prolific.

Owen scored five goals between 2009 and his departure in 2011 in the Premier League, from 31 appearances.

He was then followed by Valencia, who was signed from Wigan as a right-winger replacement for Ronaldo in 2009 but switched from the No 25 shirt to No 7 for the 2012-13 season. He could only chip in with one goal from 30 appearances.

He was only two worse off than Angel Di Maria, who assumed the shirt a year later following a £59.7million switch.

Di Maria was followed by another flop, Memphis Depay, who scored twice from 29 appearances during the 2015-16 season before leaving for Lyon.

Incumbent No 7 Alexis Sanchez continued the miserable trend, having so far notched an abysmal three goals from one-and-a-half seasons in the north west.

It is widely expected that Sanchez, who earns a whopping £500,000 per week at Old Trafford, will be moved on this summer after failing to live up to expectations since signing from Arsenal.

His departure will leave the No 7 jersey available once again, and incoming talent may well be wary of jumping into Ronaldo’s old shirt. 

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