Scroll down to read all the important facts and stats on Man United's new marauding left-back, Alexander Buttner
Flying 23-year-old wide man Alexander Buttner has arrived in Manchester to undergo a medical ahead of his proposed move to Man United this week.
Don't worry if you're thinking "Buttner who?" because here's all you need to know about Sir Alex's second Dutch signing in less than a week...
Name: Alexander Buttner
Date of birth: 11 February 1989
Birthplace: Doetinchem, Netherlands
International appearances: 8 (Netherlands U20)
What's the latest?
Man United are poised to secure the surprise signing of Dutch full-back Alexander Buttner, who can also operate in midfield, for £3.9m, pending a medical. Buttner arrives as defensive cover following the loan departure of Fabio Da Silva to QPR and Everton's reluctance to offload Leighton Baines for anything less than £15m.
Did you know?
1) After a agreeing a fee with Southampton for Buttner's sale back in July 2012, the deal fell through - much to Vitesse and Buttner's annoyance - when it emerged the Saints would have to fork out a bigger sum to cover percentage costs owed to a third party. Man United's £3.9m move for the left-back comes as a surprise because Buttner is still regarded as something of an untested, raw talent in the Netherlands, and had previously been linked with clubs of Fulham and QPR's calibre.
2) A former Ajax youth player, Buttner was included in a 36-man provisional Netherlands squad for Euro 2012 following an impressive campaign for Vitesse, who he helped to a comfortable seventh spot Eridivisie finish. The 23-year-old's pace and trickery ensured Vitesse boasted one of Dutch football's meanest back-lines.
3) A marauding left-back, Buttner has made his name as a pacey defender capable of hurting opponents going forward, but there remain questions over his defensive capabilities. Think about a player similar to Kyle Walker but unproven in the Premier League. Buttner himself admits he hadn't envisaged operating in this position: "I made my debut under Aad de Mos, here at Vitesse. I was 17 years old. Sat down on the bench in a game against Twente and after three minutes he made me warm up and brought me on in the left-back spot. What a weird substitution. He did it again a week later. The media were all over him... it was weird for me to play left-back, as I was a forward. I only played there once before. In the Ajax youth, I played playmaker and at Vitesse as left-winger or left-midfielder. I never wanted to be a left-back. I think most left-backs started as wingers or midfielders."
4) Buttner attributes his playing style to a difficult upbringing: "My biggest strength? I never give up. I was born in a suburb in Doetinchem, called the Camp. My grandparents lived in a camp you know, like a trailer camp... I was a real street urchin. A little rat. I was always playing football on the streets and it was a tough education, I can tell you."
5) It's unlikely Buttner will replace Patrice Evra in United's starting line-up immediately, though Sir Alex is hoping he develops into a player similar to Gareth Bale, a long-time target. Buttner explains how his father was also a footballer, but never made it to the top: “My dad played for De Graafschap, FC Twente, Vitesse and NEC. According to people who worked with him, he was a huge talent but he never made it big. He was a bon vivant. Never really lived for the sport. Loved a beer, loved a party. I heard stories how he turned his car around whenever he came into a traffic jam. Then he simply decided that he wouldn’t train that day. Guus Hiddink remembers him, too, and whenever I see Hiddink, he always says with a smile: 'Don’t go the same path as your dad!'"
"If you had told me one week ago that I would be training with and playing for the same team as Robin van Persie, I would have sent you to a mental home!" - August 2012
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