Everton have revealed the shirt numbers to be worn by new signings André Gomes and Fabian Delph ahead of the upcoming 2019-20 season.
Gomes, who wore ‘8’ during his loan spell from Barcelona last season, has switched to ‘21’ following the completion of his permanent signing in June; it is the same number he wore during his time at the Nou Camp and with Valencia.
He told Everton’s official website:
“The number 21 is a special number for me.
“When I left Benfica, I wore it at Valencia and that was my first experience outside of Portugal. That was a big change for me and everyone in my family knows that personal meaning.
“I also had the same number at Barcelona, so over a total of four years at two different clubs.
“I really like the number, I wanted to keep the number and I’m now looking forward to having it on the back of my Everton shirt.”
Everton’s other summer signing, goalkeeper Jonas Lössl, has not yet had his number confirmed, although the free transfer from Huddersfield Town dropped a hint via Twitter on Monday that he may wear ‘49’ -
Meanwhile, Gomes taking 21 will only add more weight to the rumours that fellow midfielder Muhamed Bešić has played his last game for Everton.
Bešić previously held this shirt but has now been stripped of this number without any mention of a replacement.
Having spent the last season-and-a-half on loan at Championship side Middlesbrough, and linked with a summer move to Fulham, the Bosnian is widely expected to move on before the transfer deadline of Thursday, August 8.
Everton have already announced that they will confirm their full list of squad numbers on Tuesday, August 6.