Manchester United have finally brought in a left back cover after completing the signing of Vitesse defender Alexander Büttner on a five year deal. It will hopefully see an end to a complacent Evra and put to bed what was one of our major weak points last season.
Speaking with Dutch football magazine Voetbal International about the transfer, first team coach René Meulensteen was quick to highlight that it was his attacking qualities that caught the attention of United over the years.
“We like to see him as an aggressive, self-aware player who likes to think ahead. We bought him because we see he has great potential, for the future that is.” René Meulensteen
He said: “We heard lots of positive things about him [Büttner] and that is why I recommended him to Sir Alex. The scouts they sent to observe him were all speaking very highly of him.”
René was also quick to quash any rumours circulating that Büttner will be immediately loaned out from the club.
He said: “I know nothing about that and cannot see it happening.”
After the lost arbitration case with his former club Vitesse, there were suddenly doubts about Büttner’s immediate future. He was the centre of attention in a curious battle between him ad his club after his supposed transfer to Southampton fell through. The former player of the year wasn’t allowed to train with their first team and was forced to train with the reserves.
It seemed that Ajax were close to re-signing Büttner with Theo Janssen likely to move in the opposite direction but a €3.3 million offer from United wooed him to Old Trafford.
From what I have seen and heard about Büttner, he is an aggressive left-back that is comfortable playing in the left-wing back position as well. Overlapping full backs have been synonymous with the modern game and Evra has gone downhill drastically in the past two years, so we haven’t seen much of that. Hopefully, the signing of Büttner will mark a change to that.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that a player has moved from Vitesse to Manchester United with goalkeeper Raymond van der Gouw making the transition in 1996 from a coaching position.