According to a report published by Gerard Romero, Barcelona have decided to hand over Memphis Depay’s jersey no. #9 to Robert Lewandowski.
Lewandowski’s presentation will go ahead at 12:30 PM CET today infront of what is expected to be a record-breaking attendance. The player will be presented with the official jersey and number today itself.
Initially worn by Luis Suarez, the number nine was passed on to Martin Braithwaite in the 2020/21 as el Pistolero left to join Atletico Madrid.
The Dane only wore it for one season before Memphis Depay took over the responsibility. He was Barcelona’s top scorer last year, but lot his place in the team as Xavi came along.
Now, with the arrival of Raphinha, and of course, Lewandowski in the summer, Memphis has been asked to leave the club. Even though he’s turned that proposal down, the club can strip him off his jersey number unilaterally.
There are multiple reasons why Barcelona want the #9 to go to Lewandowski, but without doubt the most important is because of commercial reasons.
They have already handed iconic numbers such as #10 to Ansu Fati, #8 to Pedri, while the #6 is expected to go to Gavi soon.
Giving Lewa the #9 will help them increase shirt sales exponentially, especially overseas. The ex-Bayern Munich striker has a cult following in Poland and parts of Germany, where the shirt sales will definitely take a huge hike.
Either way, should Barcelona actually go through with taking Memphis’ shirt number, the burden is on the player to force his exit.