Braithwaite Inherits Iconic Barcelona Squad Number
FC Barcelona have confirmed Martin Braithwaite will wear the No.9 shirt during the 2020/21 season. The squad number was vacated by Luis Suarez who left the Catalans to join Atletico Madrid last month.
Barca weren’t able to bring in a replacement for Suarez or indeed any kind of attacking reinforcements before Monday’s transfer deadline, with a proposed deal for Lyon’s Memphis Depay ultimately falling through due to a lack of funds. Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele now make up Koeman’s forward line along with Braithwaite, who secured a surprise emergency switch to Camp Nou from Leganes in February.
It had been suggested in the Spanish media that Braithwaite had asked for Messi’s No.10 shirt earlier this summer, having seen the Blaugrana captain hand in a transfer request following a humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in last season’s Champions League quarter-finals.
The 29-year-old angrily dismissed the reports, however, telling Danish newspaper BT last month: “What do people think themselves?. Braithwaite who wore the number 19 shirt for Barcelona last will be in line for his first appearance of the campaign when Barcelona take in a trip to Getafe after the international break, while Suarez and Atletico face a tough away fixture against Celta Vigo.