Actually it does.
It determines a little bit on who they hang out with. There are several anecdotes of players talking about forming a bond with players they share lockers with. This friendship can, in turn, influence their choices on and off field.
Going back a few years ago we had a bloke who could really tear up the town off field. Its fair to say he wasnt a great influence on the bloke he was next to in the changeroom every day. Who knows had they left the kid in a higher number, he might have spent less time partying and been a beter player.
Conversely, when Sean Wellman came to the club and was given the locker next to James Hird he happily admits to noticing his work rate on and off field and determining to adopt some of hisnwork habits. Who knows, maybe he wouldnt have been the player he was if he’d been given a higher number.
Id also add in the history of the number, and the efforts the club make to involve the current player with the heroes of the past.