Lucas Torreira has revealed that he picked the No 11 shirt at Arsenal so he could sit next to Mesut Ozil in the changing room.
The Uruguayan midfielder completed his £25million switch from Sampdoria in July and was left with the task of picking his shirt number for his debut season at the Emirates.
The 22-year-old originally admitted to wanting the No 34 but it was already taken by Granit Xhaka, so instead opted for the No 11 which was freed up following Jack Wilshere’s move to West Ham.
The number also holds particular significance with it being the same day as Torreira’s birthday but Ozil’s influence played a major part in his decision.
‘I wanted to pick 34 but It was already taken by [Granit] Xhaka,’ he told Sport 890.
‘I chose 11 because it’s the day of my birthday and I will get the chance to sit next to Mesut Ozil in the dressing room.
‘It’s incredible when you go to the dressing room and see your locker is glued to that of Mesut Ozil who is a world champion and a player with a fantastic career.’
Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s pre-season encounter with Lazio, manager Unai Emery confirmed that Torreira would play a part in the game.
He said: ‘At the moment I am very happy with the players who are with here with us.
‘There are more coming; Nacho Monreal, Lucas [Torreira] and [Granit] Xhaka will start to play some minutes on Saturday.’