Arsenal.com have confirmed the Arsenal squad numbers for the 2012/13 season, including several changes, some new additions and a new No.1 keeper.
Squad Number changes for the 2012/13 season:
- Francis Coquelin has been given a higher squad number (moving up from 39 to the empty number 22 spot) which is, in my opinion, representative of his increasing role within the squad.
- Kyle Bartley has been given the number 35 shirt following his loan-spell at Rangers.
- Olivier Giroud has been allocated the number 12 shirt, previously worn by Thierry Henry during his short loan in January/February.
- Wojciech Szczesny is now Arsenals number 1 following the departure of Manuel Almunia.
Most interestingly, Robin Van Persie has kept the number 10 shirt, while Lukas Podolski’s shirt number is still to be confirmed. This action has led to much speculation that Podolski will take the number 10 shirt upon Robin’s departure. Podolski plays as number 10 for the German national team and wore the same shirt number at FC Cologne – 10 is clearly his lucky number and will hopefully bring him lots of success at Arsenal.
Also of interest, Henri Lansbury is not mentioned at all, which would suggest that either he will be sent out on another season-long loan or (more likely) that he will be sold. I actually had Lansbury down as somebody who would break into the first team following successful loan spells at Watford, Norwich and QPR. He is simply unfortunate to have the likes of Wilshere, Ramsey and Coquelin ahead of him.
The No. 52 shirt will surely be retired, if only because it is extremely unlikely that Arsenal will ever again be in the position where we needed to use a number that high. The only reason that Bendtner has that number is because he asked for it; Nicklas decided that he deserved a shirt number that was twice that of his previous number (26) because he was twice the player that he had been the season before and 52 is “special to him personally”. Once Bendtner leaves, there will be no number 52 at Arsenal.