The Dutch left-back looked to be set for a move away from Old Trafford but the Premier League champions may now need him.
A few eyebrows were raised when Manchester United bought Alexander Buttner to Old Trafford last August. Sir Alex Ferguson had obviously seen something in the former Vitesse Arnhem defender, glimpses of which was on display in his handful of appearances last year.
However, with a change of manager, Buttner’s future at the club looked less than secure. David Moyes seemed intent on bringing a new left-back to the club this summer as quality competition for Patrice Evra, with efforts to sign Leighton Baines and Fabio Coentrao running ashore late in the transfer window.
This lack of faith from the Scot in Buttner’s ability has been verbalised by the player’s agent, Alexander Bursac.
“It’s unbelievable that Coentrao was not signed on time. Whether that is an error on the part of Real or United doesn’t matter,” the representative told Voetbal International.
“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.
“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.”
Vice-captain Patrice Evra is an important man to Manchester United for a number of reasons. He on his day is as good as any left-back in England, adds solidarity to the United rearguard and experience to the team.
However, the 32-year-old cannot be expected to play every single game, and apart from Buttner, there are very few (none) other options for Moyes to play at left-back should Evra need a rest or be unavailable.
Despite the lack of a sense of trust that Buttner’s agent mentions, the chances are that the Dutch defender will get his fair share of games and a move away from Old Trafford is out of the question. The 24-year-old will be expected to play in domestic cup competitions and deputise for Evra now and again in the Premier League.
The truth is that Premier League champions Manchester United have shown a leap of faith in signing Buttner from the obscurity of the Eredivisie. The player and his agent should keep their thoughts to themselves and be glad that the defender is playing at one of the most historic clubs in world football.
The fact that United tried to sign other players in Buttner’s position should be of no concern to him, as he is second in line to play in one of Europe’s top teams. If he keeps his head down and gets on with being professional in training, the likelihood of him exceeding the five Premier League appearances he made last term is substantial.
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