Manchester United's Vitesse Connection Delivers Alexander Buttner
It's Alexander Buttner.
The Vitesse Arnhem defender, who can also play right-back, was included in Bert van Marwijk's provisional 36-man squad for Euro 2012.
How many times have United surprised us by pulling a rabbit out of a hat? Remember Vidic, Evra, Javier Hernandez? Who would have predicted those signings? And no one forecast this one.
And before you wonder how this transfer came about, try looking at Raimond Van Der Gouw. He may not have played as many times as keeper at United as he would have liked, but he still has strong connections with the club.
So, as Vitesse's goal-keeping coach, you can bet that he probably gave Sir Alex the tip-off. We don't yet know the fee, but it will be much less than the £17 million that Everton probably wanted for 27-year-old Leighton Baines.
Patrice Evra isn't getting any younger and his defensive qualities are suspect. Sir Alex likes competition for every position. With Buttner coming in, he has a ready-made replacement. He will also have Fabio coming back in due course from QPR, who looked at home yesterday despite their big loss.
With Zeki Fryers gone (though nobody knows where), there is also Tyler Blackett coming through and Michael Keane can play left-back at a push.
So at last, one of the positions that people have been fretting about has been filled. Just Kaka now and we have a full set...
Difficult to find footage of Buttner's defensive skills, but he can certainly tackle. He also scores goals—10 in 107 matches—pretty good for a full-back.
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