Alexander Buttner joins Man United

Author: Doron

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United’s latest and probably last foray into the transfer market has been made. Aleander Buttner, a Dutch winger come left back from Vitesse has signed for a little under £4m. He’ll provide competition and back-up to Evra and at 23, there’s time for him to learn and improve whilst at the club.

As moves go, this one was completely unexpected. Alexander Buttner had looked likely to go to either QPR or Southampton earlier this summer but neither club was keen to meet the agent fees required for the move to go through.

United though have clearly been in the hunt for someone to compete with Evra. The Everton press-pack have long denied that there was ever any interest in Baines whilst Neil Taylor at Swansea seemed another potential target. With Fabio out on loan, Robbie Brady who’s naturally a winger, was set to start the season as cover. Robbie’s better served with a loan himself anyway whilst Tyler Blackett is just too young.

On Sunday night it emerged that Buttner would be travelling to Manchester over night for a medical and to sign his contract. The deal, at £3.9m would take United’s net summer spend to just over the £40m mark promised by the owners in the IPO documentation. Buttner was quoted in various media outlets as saying:

“I’m travelling to Manchester this evening [Sunday] and I’m very delighted that such a big club bought me.”

I won’t pretend to have heard of Buttner let alone know anything about him but a quick chat with a few Dutch footballing aficionado suggest that he’s a very attack-minded left back. He’s yet to be capped at international level but he was in the Dutch Euro 2012 provisional squad (although that may have had more to do with Van Marwijk liking him and Dutch footballing politics). He has a good goalscoring record for a fullback and takes an excellent penalty. He can lay on goals too – he’s a good crosser, one reason why he’s often played as a winger. He’s not naturally a defensive minded player but being strong, quick and athletic, he may be able to get by in that area much like Evra when he first joined. It’s certainly his intention to be a left back now rather than a winger.

Evra’s still a very good left back but has reached a point where he needs managed. Evra’s no longer able to maintain a good performance level, unsurprising given that he’s played nearly 250 games in five years. Therefore the person that comes in doesn’t need to replace him but simply needs to be good enough to start against the league’s weaker sides so Evra can get some rest, making him fresh for the bigger games.

It feels like Buttner has very much been brought in as a squad player rather than someone who can become first choice left back. Certainly, Fabio’s loan is to ensure he gets regular minutes so he can become Evra’s successor – Buttner’s signing shouldn’t hinder his progress. There’s been a lot of surprise in Holland to this deal with one well-informed Dutch football fan suggesting that Vitesse are “chuckling” to themselves – he’d been expected to leave but never to a big club, let alone United. Still, having never seen him play I’ll be giving him the benefit of the doubt and am pleased that a back-up for Evra has been signed. A good summer’s business has gotten better.

5 Comments on Alexander Buttner joins Man United

  1. Please with the signing. It was needed nqat. Should have signed and broke the bank for a top top left back like some1as good and young as alba but you never know, this lad could be a jem….good luck to him. Hope he does well and gets games at united.

  2. A good signing, exactly what is needed. Evra is still a very good left back on his day and spending alot of money on a Baines for one of them to warm the bench just wouldn’t have made sense.

    Get the feeling though that this wasn’t the ‘if they become available’ signing that Fergie was talking about. After watching us get bullied last night, here is hoping that some steel is signed.

  3. MUFC88: We weren’t bullied at all last night. Where do you have that from?

    In terms of bullying, some other blog on this page got it right: Fellaini bullied us. We had some good passing, held the ball ok but we lacked penetration and both will and skill to cross the ball.

    Also, Rooney and Nani were playing with the mindset I have on math tests.

    We were the better team, but Everton were superior tactically and Fellainily (and the runs around him).

  4. Its hightyme rooney’s dropped i jst cant tell wht he’s bn eating ov late simply overwheight poor fast touch fergie needs 2 take some drastic actions otherwise gutted by last nite all d feel good facter abt d Rvp capture evaporated

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