Arsenal seem set to sign Dijon’s Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson to replace Emi Martinez who has signed for Aston Villa and they’ve now reportedly agreed terms with Brentford’s David Raya, so what shirt number would the new keepers get?
Arsenal were said to be trying to sign Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson before their game at the weekend against West Ham and, if they had managed it, he would obviously have needed a shirt number. Still will, to be fair.
Rúnarsson currently wears the number 1 shirt at Dijon but he won’t be getting that as it’s staying with Bernd Leno and is the reason Emi Martinez let for Villa.
Rúnarsson has worn that shirt for the three seasons he’s been with the Ligue 1 side although there was a period last season when he wore the 18. 18 is currently vacant at Arsenal, last worn by Nacho Monreal before he returned to Spain.
When Rúnarsson left FC Nordsjaelland for France he was also wearing the number 1 shirt but his first four seasons with the senior team he wore the 16. That currently belongs to Rob Holding whom Mikel Arteta has said is going nowhere.
With Iceland, we find the number Rúnarsson might take although if the club also want to sign David Raya, he will come in above the Icelandic keeper.
Rúnarsson wore the number 1 shirt with the u17s, u19s, and u21s. He also wore the 12 for the u21s, but that shirt is now Willian’s.
With the senior Icelandic team, however, Rúnarsson has worn the 13 (apart from another brief foray with the 12 in 16/17 and 24 in 2018) which has been his most consistent number.
It is currently free at Arsenal and the last four players to wear it were goalkeepers.
13, then, would seem the most likely number for Raya to take should he sign for Arsenal to replace Aston Villa-bound Emi Martinez. Rúnarsson would arrive to replace Matt Macey who wears the 33. However, we could see the reverse happen.
Raya has worn the number one shirt since his Blackburn Rovers days and he has worn three other numbers throughout his career, one of which stands out – the 33. He’s worn that in five seasons while he has only worn the 13 twice and 19 once.
Normally, you would expect the most senior new keeper arriving to take the 13 unless they have some weird superstition around it but this could work out well for both.
Weird, partially-related fact, Arsene Wenger’s seat in the dugout was 13. 13 was traditionally considered a lucky number in France before the First World War and I was told that by Charlie George himself.
Arsenal shirt number 13
In total, 24 players have worn the number 13 shirt at Arsenal with seven of them being goalkeepers
David Ospina (14/15 – 18/19)
Emiliano Viviano (13/14)
Wojciech Szczesny (11/12)
Jens Lehmann (10/11)
Aleksandr Hleb (05/06 – 07/08)
Stuart Taylor (01/02 – 04/05)
Alexander Manninger (97/98 – 00/01)
Vince Bartram (94/95 – 96/97)
David Hillier (94/95)
Steve Morrow (91/92 – 94/95)
Alan Miller Goalkeepers (93/94)
Alan Smith (90/91 – 93/94)
David O’Leary (91/92 – 92/93)
Ray Parlour (91/92)
Kevin Campbell (91/92)
Neil Heaney (91/92)
Anders Limpar (91/92)
Steve Bould (91/92)
Pal Lydersen (91/92)
Sigurdur Jónsson (91/92)
David Rocastle (91/92)
Perry Groves (90/91 – 91/92)
Andy Linighan (91/92)
Colin Pates (91/92)
Arsenal shirt number 33
The 33 has only been worn at Arsenal by eight other players, two of which were goalkeepers.