Romelu Lukaku Asked For Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Permission To Wear Man United's Number 9 Shirt

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

In all walks a life, showing a little respect for your elders – particularly as you replace them in the pecking order – is the right thing to do.

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Well played then Manchester United's new striker Romelu Lukaku who, like a young apprentice polishing his samurai's sword, apparently went to Zlatan Ibrahimovic to ask his permission for the number 9 shirt before claiming it as his own.

The 24-year-old was snapped up by Jose Mourniho this week from under the nose of his former club Chelsea to lead the line at Old Trafford next season.

He's filling the boots of Zlat who left the club after suffering a horrific knee injury at the end of last season – meaning the shirt was vacant anyway.

Nevertheless, the Belgian – who used to wear the number 10 - told ESPN: "I always asked my mother what number, and I used to play with the 10 because my mother's birthday is on Oct. 10, so it's the 10th month of the year.

"That's why I played with No. 10. I asked for the number nine because I'm a striker.

"Strikers play with No. 9. It's a nice number, and I asked the permission of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. I want to thank him, as well, for allowing me to wear that number."

We can imagine Ibra purring with approval at that one. Let's hope we seem him back in action in a shirt of his own choosing soon.