Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “David Beckham: Manchester United No7 shirt should inspire Memphis Depay” was written by Jamie Jackson, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 18th November 2015 21.23 UTC

Memphis Depay, ?the Manchester United No7, has been struggling for form since joining the club in the summer? but David Beckham has said the famous shirt should be an inspiration.?

Depay started 12 of United’s 13 matches yet since the 3-0 defeat at Arsenal on 4 October the 21-year-old has been dropped from the XI in the Premier League by Louis van Gaal.

Depay’s last start was the goalless draw with Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup three weeks ago, which ended with United’s elimination on penalties, and he also initially lost his place in the Holland squad for the recent internationals, before a late call-up.

Anthony Martial, who came on for Depay after 70 minutes against Boro, has operated on the left side of United’s attack but the Frenchman left Wembley on crutches on Tuesday after suffering a knock to his foot during England’s 2-0 friendly win over France. This may give Depay a chance of being recalled for United’s trip to Watford on Saturday.

Antonio Valencia struggled when wearing No7 and asked to return to the No25 that had formerly been his. Yet Beckham believes no player who wears it should be intimidated. George Best, Bryan Robson and Cristiano Ronaldo, some of the club’s finest players, have had it.

“I don’t see it as an intimidation, I see it as an honour,” Beckham said. “When you get given the No7 shirt it doesn’t matter who has worn it in the past or what that player has achieved in the past. At the end of the day it is a special shirt to wear but I don’t think personally that it comes with any pressure. It always was an inspiration for me.

“It was never my shirt. It was George Best’s, Bryan Robson’s, Eric Cantona’s. The only reason I wanted to wear the No7 shirt was because of these players. The No7 shirt is a special shirt for Man United. It always has been and it always will be.”

Beckham was handed the shirt by Sir Alex Ferguson after Teddy Sheringham joined United in 1997. “I went from wearing the No10 shirt and then the manager calling me in and saying: ‘We’ve just signed Teddy Sheringham and he wants No 10.’ And I was like: ‘Oh really, do I have to give it up?’ There wasn’t really a conversation to be honest. So obviously I didn’t argue the fact. I always wanted the No7 shirt, I just never thought I’d get it. But when the manager decided to give me it, it was special.”

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