Phil Jones of Manchester United during the premier league match at the Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester. Picture date 17th September 2017.

Amrabat next: Ranking every player to wear No.4 for Man Utd in the Premier League era

Sofyan Amrabat has been confirmed as Manchester United’s new number four, taking the vacant number after finally arriving on loan from Fiorentina. 

Just six players before the Morocco international have worn the jersey since official squad numbers were introduced in the 1993-94 season, and they’re quite a mix of names.

We’ve ranked every player to wear the No.4 shirt for United in the Premier League era from worst to best.

6. Juan Sebastian Veron

We’ve argued ourselves that Veron wasn’t the disastrous flop that he was often unfairly painted as.

But it’s also fair to say that he was an awkward fit in Sir Alex Ferguson’s team and never lived up to his £28million price tag (think at least fourfold in today’s money, youngsters).

Arguably the right man at the wrong time, we can’t put Veron any higher than bottom. Fergie would no doubt mutter that we’re ‘f*cking idiots‘ if he ever read this.

Manchester United's Juan Sebastian Veron celebrates his goal against Maccabi Haifa. Old Trafford, September 2002.

READ: An ode to Juan Sebastian Veron, Man Utd’s right man at the wrong time

5. Gabriel Heinze

If we’re judging purely on on-field performances, Heinze can probably feel a bit aggrieved to be so down on this list.

The Argentinian was a quality left-back on his day and played his part in United’s 2006-07 Premier League title win. But ultimately his three years at the club coincided with a relatively fallow period and Patrice Evra proved to be an upgrade.

He also tried to force through a move to Liverpool, so his Old Trafford legacy is always going to be marked by that.

4. Phil Jones

Not the next Duncan Edwards, but for a time looked like an excellent signing from Blackburn Rovers.

Look past the funny faces and the ungainly style and there was a very decent defender there – as he showed in United’s last Premier League title win, 2012-13.

But there’s no getting past those injury issues that plagued him throughout the post-Ferguson era.

He made just six Premier League appearances in his final four years at Old Trafford and while his hefty wages were a source of frustration for some United fans, it’s hard not to feel for him.

“I’ve missed playing football. I missed it. You grow up playing football and all you want to do is play football,” Jones wrote in his heartfelt farewell statement.

“It’s all I’ve known, from such a young age, is to do what you love doing for a living. I’ve been fortunate enough to do that, albeit not as much as I would have liked.”

3. David May

“David May, superstar! Got more medals than Shearer!”

May spent nine years at Old Trafford but only briefly nailed down a spot in Ferguson’s favoured XI. But he was the kind of dependable squad player that was so vital in the Red Devils being English football’s dominant force for so long.

The defender wore the No.4 shirt from 1996 to 2001. He didn’t play a single minute of Champions League football in the famous treble-winning campaign of 1998-99 but Ferguson trusted him enough to start in the FA Cup final – and May didn’t let him down in the 2-0 win over Newcastle.

2. Owen Hargreaves

Arguably England’s best player at the 2006 World Cup, Hargreaves looked for a time like he could kick on to become one of the best midfielders in the world.

His debut season at Old Trafford was one of the greatest in United’s history, ending up with them lifting the Premier League and Champions League trophies.

Unfortunately his persistent knee problems restricted him to just four Premier League appearances after that excellent debut campaign. He was robbed of what could’ve been a great United career, but nobody can take away that one great season.

READ: Owen Hargreaves: Man Utd’s cursed yet brilliant midfield maestro

1. Steve Bruce

The only choice for the top spot, United’s first No.4 of the Premier League era remains the standard-bearer.

Bruce won three Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one League Cup and the Cup Winners’ Cup at United and was one of the key pillars of Ferguson building a dynasty in the 1990s.

READ MORE: Ranking every player to wear No.7 for Man Utd in the Premier League

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