Buttner arrived at Old Trafford as somewhat of an unknown commodity. He came with a decent reputation from Vitesse Arnhem and was tipped as the long term replacement for Patrice Evra in the United back four.
He’s showed glimpses of his best form for United which prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to promise the 24-year-old that he would eventually get his chance to nail down a position in the United first team.
Ferguson originally said when he signed Buttner that it was a transfer designed to protect the future of the club and to keep senior players on their toes.
“We have to protect the future - He's a straight forward attacking, quick full-back, he will be a terrific addition to us,” said Ferguson in August 2012.
Ferguson clearly didn’t see an immediate way into the first team for Buttner and unfortunately neither does new manager David Moyes.
Moyes’ pursuit of Leighton Baines suggests he has very little confidence in Buttner as a left back who can replace Patrice Evra and retain his position in the United back four for many years to come.
There is no guarantee that Baines will be a Manchester United player by September 3, which means Moyes is taking a big risk which could backfire on him in the form of having one very unhappy player in his squad.
Moyes has played his hand and has effectively shown Buttner that he doesn’t see him as integral to the defence of his Manchester United team.
Buttner continues to be linked with a move to Turkish club Besiktas which is a move he’d be well advised to pursue because if it doesn’t happen and he’s forced to stay at Old Trafford, it could have negative consequences.
It could turn out to be a fairly similar situation to how Wayne Rooney currently finds himself at the club, with reports that Rooney is disillusioned in the dressing room, shunned by other key players which could explain his refusal to celebrate United goals against Swansea last weekend.
It’s awkward for the club because if a deal for Baines doesn’t happen and then Evra picks up a nasty injury which keeps him out for a long period of time, they may have to look at using Buttner who the boss has shown he doesn’t have much faith in.
The only other option at left back is the brother of Rafael, Fabio, who was unable to produce his best form on loan at Queens Park Rangers last season, with injuries preventing him from having a prolonged spell in the first eleven.
Fortunately for United Moyes already has experience when it comes to building bridges with players and it would be a shame if what Ferguson originally saw in the player is lost.
Would you blame Buttner for walking away? Do United need to keep him?
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