Manchester United left-back Alexander Buttner has accused the Red Devils’ new head coach Louis van Gaal of ignoring his performances while managing the Netherlands national team - and claimed, somewhat bizarrely, that he was voted the Premier League giants’ Man of the Match on 14 occasions during his two seasons at Old Trafford.
The 25-year-old is expected to complete a move to Dynamo Moscow this week after undergoing a medical in the Russian capital on Wednesday morning - but his parting shot at Van Gaal will leave Manchester United supporters baffled.
“Van Gaal never gave me a chance in the Dutch team, even though I was voted Man of the Match 14 times at United,” the defender is quoted as saying by Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. “I’m leaving at just the right moment.”
Failed to convince as a left-back
The majority of Manchester United supporters will be left scratching their heads while thinking back to when these 14 Man of the Match displays might have occurred. Buttner, despite scoring on his debut against Wigan Athletic in September 2012, failed to convince at left-back and often struggled on the rare occasions he came in for Patrice Evra.
While his attacking play often caught the eye, his defensive work led to much criticism from supporters and pundits alike. The Dutchman was often caught out of position and, at times, looked hopelessly out of his depth.
Indeed, many questioned why Sir Alex Ferguson brought Buttner from Vitesse to Old Trafford in the first place. Brazilian left-back Fabio da Silva - twin brother of Rafael - had started the 2011 Champions League final against Barcelona but completely fell out of favour following Buttner’s surprise arrival and was eventually sold to Cardiff City by David Moyes last January.
Imminent arrival of Luke Shaw
The fact Van Gaal is allowing Buttner to leave Old Trafford suggests Manchester United are confident they will complete the £30 million signing of Southampton and England left-back Luke Shaw this summer. Evra will also be at Old Trafford next season after agreeing a one-year contract extension last month.
Netherlands full-back Daley Blind has also been linked with a move to the Premier League giants, but all the signs indicate that Manchester United will begin the 2014/15 campaign with Evra and Shaw as their two main left-backs.
Buttner, meanwhile, is poised to leave Old Trafford having made 28 appearances for the Red Devils and scoring two goals in the process.