The left back was expected to move out on loan on the final day of the transfer window but with Manchester United failing to sign Fabio Coentrao, Alexander Buttner was retained.
There are two major problems between Buttner and David Moyes at the moment.
Firstly, Moyes has made it clear with his pursuit of other left-backs that he doesn’t have confidence in the Dutchman’s ability to replace Patrice Evra should the Frenchman pick up an injury or a suspension.
It also transpires that Moyes made a promise to Buttner and his representatives that he would be loaned out so that the 24-year-old could get regular first team football ahead of the World Cup next summer.
“We have received assurances of a loan. Alex is not necessarily looking for a guarantee of playing time, but he does not want to spend the entire season on the bench,” Buttner’s agent Aleksandar Bursac told Voetbal International.
It all leads to the question of what exactly has changed because Sir Alex Ferguson seemed to be pretty clear in his intentions that Buttner was the man who would be the long term replacement for Evra in United’s back four.
The first problem is Moyes’ natural connection with Everton and the possibility of signing Leighton Baines, one of the best left-backs in England and Europe.
Moyes may have been expecting things to be slightly easier in terms of being able to sign Baines which caused him to not pay too much attention to Buttner and the role he could play at Old Trafford.
Baines was never going to be an easy signing for Moyes but he more than likely expected a swift deal with the resources United have and the pulling power of Manchester United as a football club.
The second difference between the way Buttner was handled under Ferguson compared to Moyes seems to be the issue of trust.
“Under Sir Alex Ferguson, Buttner was the up and coming man. He started playing in more games and was trusted in training. That sense of trust is not there now,” added Bursac.
Once a player feels that he can’t trust a manager to follow through on his word or to handle him in the right way, it all points to a very slippery slope which eventually ends in that player leaving the club he’s contracted to.
Ferguson is likely to have given Buttner a very clear message when he originally signed from Vitesse Arnhem and any player always knew they could put their faith in the former United boss to do the best thing for them and for United.
That trust doesn’t exist between the player and Moyes, with the current United boss going back on something he seemed to promise the defender at a crucial stage in the season and also his career.
Don’t be at all surprised if Buttner is moved on this January which would be a real shame.
United fans, are you bothered about the possibility of Buttner leaving?
image: © Jason Gulledge