The Dutch left back has been playing in the shadow of Patrice Evra this season but he’s made some comments which have probably ended Fabio’s chances of nailing a regular starting place in the side.
Buttner has said he won’t go on loan next season because he’s been given assurances by Sir Alex Ferguson that United see him as the natural replacement for Patrice Evra.
That could mean the end for Brazilian Fabio, who has been on loan at Queens Park Rangers, and an end to his chances of playing alongside his brother Rafael in the United defence next season.
Buttner has certainly not had the perfect impact he would have been hoping for following his move from Vitesse Arnhem; three starts in the Premier League and a single goal. He’s also only made a handful of appearances in the FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League, but he has been steady enough all the same.
The way he’s been used has led to the natural conclusion that he could be sent out on loan next season, with Fabio coming back into the squad to provide cover at the left back slot.
However, he’s said that won’t happen which puts Ferguson into a very difficult position because while Fabio is unlikely to get into the side ahead of Evra or Buttner, he will not want to rot on the bench next year.
That could force United into axing him, not because they want to but because they need to do what’s best for the Brazilian’s future and that is allowing him to go somewhere where he is going to play regular first team football.
It’s a decision which is unlikely to have an impact on Rafael’s role or status with United, as he’s currently one of the best right backs in the world and on a long deal at Old Trafford.
In a way Buttner is putting a lot of pressure on himself because there are several reasons he’s going to get a higher ratio of chances next season.
Evra is not able to play in every single game any more. He remains a very fit player but his age dictates that Buttner will be used more and more with Evra taking longer to recover from one match to the next.
If Buttner staying at the club means Fabio moving on, then every time he plays, the fans will be magnifying his performance because he’s effectively the reason another exciting and talented full back has left the club.
It’s all down to him, if he can have half the impact that Evra has had at left back then it’s his position and it’s a very exciting position to be in but we all need a lot more convincing.
Who do you see as Evra’s natural successor, Buttner or Fabio?
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