Premier League XI of ridiculously high shirt numbers, including Alexander-Arnold, Ramsdale and Foden

With new signings being announced and new numbers being assigned, it's the perfect time to look at some of the most bizarre squad numbers across the Premier League.

Long gone are the days of a starting line-up numbered 1-11. Shirt numbers no longer seem represent positions on the pitch, and modern day footballers have taken it to the extreme.

Whether it be superstition or a hopeless attempt at trying to appear humble by sticking with your academy digits, there are plenty of Premier League stars that don a ridiculously high shirt number.

In celebration, Planet Sport has compiled a Premier League XI of the highest squad numbers, with only one rule in play - players involved have to be regular starters for their side.


Aaron Ramsdale (32)

Aaron Ramsdale Arsenal Mar22

Arsenal shot-stopper Aaron Ramsdale gets the nod between the sticks. The former Bournemouth and Sheffield United goalkeeper made a big money move to Arsenal last summer, and with Bernd Leno owning the No.1 jersey at the time, he opted for No.32.

Having worn No.12 and No.1 at his previous clubs, it seemed a strange choice, but one that has paid off for the England international, with Ramsdale enjoying a successful first season in north London.

As a No.32, he narrowly pips Manchester City's Ederson, who wears the No.31 for the league champions despite the more traditional No.1 shirt being available.


Trent Alexander-Arnold (66)

Trent Alexander-Arnold Liverpool Mar22

Liverpool's infamous No.66 had to make the cut. Despite being offered the traditional right-back No.2, Trent Alexander-Arnold turned it down in favour of staying with his academy number.

Liverpool's kit management coordinator Lee Radcliffe - yes, that's a job title - explained why the club handed Trent such a high number during his breakthrough years.

"When we get any young lads that come down from the Academy, we always deliberately try to give them a high-ish number," Radcliffe explained.

"We don't like to give them a low number in case they sort of think they've made it straight away, if you know what I mean."

With a Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup medal now to his name, I think we can all agree Alexander-Arnold has far surpassed 'making it', but he's stuck with his number and made it his own.

Joel Matip (32)

Liverpool's Joel Matip celebrates scoring their side's second goal

From one Liverpool defender to another, No.32 Joel Matip takes the spot at centre-back.

Liverpool acquired the Cameroonian defender on a free transfer back in 2016, and he's since become a crucial part of Jurgen Klopp's side.

Dan Burn (33)

Dan Burn has worn the No.33 jersey throughout his career, and nothing changed after his £7million move to Newcastle in January.

The 6ft 7in defender has made quite the impact on Tyneside, and the Magpies even delayed announcing his signing until it was confirmed academy goalkeeper Dan Langley was willing to hand over the No.33 to Burn.

Ben Davies (33)

Another No.33 who makes the cut is Ben Davies. The Welshman may don the No.4 for his nation, but he's kept faith with 33 for Tottenham.

Initially the second-choice left-back at Spurs, Davies has worked hard to become a regular starter under Antonio Conte in north London. If it isn't broke don't fix it.


Declan Rice (41)

Declan Rice West Ham Mar22

Similar to Trent, West Ham's captain has stuck to his roots and kept faith with his first ever first team number.

Declan Rice confirmed his reasoning back in February, saying: "It was just the number I was given in the academy by the kitman.

"When you are in the under-23s there are the first team squad numbers and then it gets to the higher numbers and I was given 41 when I went to Seattle on my first trip with the first-team."

Mateusz Klich (43)

Leeds United's Mateusz Klich (left) and Aston Villa's Jacob Ramsey in action during the Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham. Picture date: Wednesday February 9, 2022.

Superstition is central to Mateusz Klich's No.43. The Leeds United star stated it was a "lucky number" after joining the Yorkshire side back in 2017.

"It was my first number in professional football," said Klich.

"I got it when I finished in the academy in Cracovia and they gave me the first number in the first team so it's quite a lucky number.

"I won a cup in Holland with 43, so I like that number."

Jacob Ramsay (41)

Aston Villa's midfield maestro enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2021/22, particularly thriving under the tutelage of Steven Gerrard.

Ramsay scored six goals in the league, and looks set to keep his No.41 jersey for next season.

The Villa ace was chosen just ahead of Bruno Guimaraes (39), Scott McTominay (39) and Dele Alli (36) for our midfield trio.


Phil Foden (47)

Phil Foden celebrates making it 3-1 in the Champions League semi-final between Manchester City and Real Madrid

Another academy star that stuck with his original number after emerging as a world-class talent is Phil Foden.

It was rumoured that the England international was going to take Sergio Aguero's No.10 after his move to Barcelona, but the Citizens instead handed it to £100million signing Jack Grealish.

But as Foden continues to impress in sky blue, he's gradually building a brand with the No.47 emblazoned on his back. While Trent makes 66 his own at Liverpool, Foden is looking to rival him with his No.47.

Kai Havertz (29)

Kai Havertz hoping to be back among the goals for Chelsea

Ever wondered why Kai Havertz wears the No.29? And no, it's not just because the No.9 shirt is cursed at Stamford Bridge.

Instead, the German forward chose 29 because of the video game FIFA.

"When I was young I always used to play FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer with my brother," he said. "We always made ourselves in the game. My brother always put number 29 on his shirt.

"When I came to the professional game and Leverkusen asked me what number I wanted to have, I asked them which numbers were free. When they said 29, I said I'd take it because of my brother."

Sam Greenwood (42)

Leeds United's Sam Greenwood wraps up the XI of ridiculously high shirt numbers.

With Patrick Bamford out injured and Leeds needing a natural goalscorer, Jesse Marsch looked to Greenwood to lead the line for the Yorkshire club.

Despite playing as a traditional No.9, Greenwood appears set to keep 42 on his back for next season as United look to flourish under Marsch.

Squad total

Overall, our squad's total shirt number is 439 - 373 more than the total of a traditional 1-11 starting line-up.

The defence takes most of the credit, with Alexander-Arnold's 66 boosting the backline's total to 164.

Think you can do better? Give it a go...

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