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Cuti Romero and Oliver Skipp change kit numbers ahead of new Tottenham season

And there’s a reason for it!

Tottenham Hotspur Players Return To Pre-season Training Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Two Tottenham Hotspur players will have different numbers when they take the pitch for Spurs next season, and it’s caught some fans a little off guard. Cuti Romero is switching from shirt no. 4 to no. 17. Skipp, then will pick up the number vacated by Cuti, moving to no. 4 from no. 29.

But why the switch? It turns out, Cuti just has an emotional connection to the 17 shirt. That’s the number he wore while at Atalanta and earlier in his career at Genoa and Belgrano, and, well, he just likes it.

17 was, of course, the number previously worn by cult hero and GOAT Moussa Sissoko. But Romero joined the club before Sissoko was sold to Watford, and as a young and new member of a football team would YOU ask a club legend like Sissoko to abandon his number? I don’t think so. But now that the number has sat unclaimed for almost a full year, it’s fine for Cuti to claim it, even if it’s a weird number for a central defender to wear.

Then there’s Skippy, who’s giving up his 29 kit to claim Cuti’s old number. That’s a bit weird as no. 4 isn’t a midfield number, unless this is a clever hint that Antonio Conte is planning on transitioning Skippy to become Spurs’ new right wing back??????????????? I’ve been reliably informed that no. 4 is in fact a traditional defensive midfield number (or for a libero), which makes this switch even cooler. I’m all for it. Go on, Skippy.

Seriously, there are some who have speculated that Skipp is doing this in order to free up the 29 kit number for Djed Spence, who wore that number for a couple of years at Middlesbrough (he wore no. 2 on loan at Nottingham Forest last season). But maybe it just doesn’t matter to Skipp — for some reason he doesn’t strike me as the kind of player who especially cares what number he wears on the pitch.

In past seasons, fans who have ordered new numbered kits in the preseason only to have the player switch numbers can get new kits or refunds from the club store. I imagine that’s the same here, so if you’re in that situation, give the club shop a ring or an email.