2016-17 Arsenal squad numbers changed due to [far from] “special circumstances”

Granit Xhaka has not lived a normal life.

You may recall that, as child, he was trusted with a house key before his elder brother.

Follow @robsummerscales on Twitter.

My point is that Xhaka is special.

And, according to Arsenal’s official website, some “special circumstances” have led to Xhaka changing his squad number just days after being allocated no.16.

The former Borussia Moenchengladbach midfielder used to wear no.34 for his old club, but that belongs to Francis Coquelin, who simply ain’t budging.

With no.34 unavailable, Xhaka must have accepted no.16 too hastily, because the 23-year-old (now, this is where it gets special) has since come up with an alternative solution.

And it means such a lot to him.

Xhaka was born in 1992 (God, this is hard to write) and he loves his date of birth so much that he wanted to commemorate it on his back.

He’s not a nutter though, so no.92 was never on the cards. But Xhaka is special, remember.

This deep wizard discovered that he could reverse the digits to create a number which was normal enough for Premier League football, but also special and meaningful enough to mess up 1000s of kit orders.

Arsenal broke the news in a heartfelt statement, urging fans to understand what must have been a difficult situation for the passionate player.

It read: “New signing Granit Xhaka will now wear the No 29 shirt next season.

“The number has special significance for him as it is the reverse of his year of birth – 92.

“We had previously announced he would be wearing No 16. Supporters who ordered shirts with his name and the original number via Arsenal Direct or in Arsenal stores will have their shirts automatically printed with the new number.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this causes but hope our supporters understand the special circumstances on this occasion.”

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