Bat­tle for left-back will keep French­man alert


PA­TRICE EVRA’S po­si­tion at Manch­ester United has come un­der threat as Alexan­der But­tner com­pleted his £4mil­lion move to Old Traf­ford.

The French­man was well be­low par for Sir Alex Fer­gu­son’s side to­wards the end of last sea­son and now the Scot has brought in But­tner to put some added pres­sure on him.

Evra, 31, had been rel­a­tively un­trou­bled in the past with young­ster Fabio pre­vi­ously his only real threat for the shirt.

But with the Brazil­ian out on loan to QPR for ex­pe­ri­ence, Fer­gu­son has taken the move to bring in But­tner, 23, from Dutch side Vitesse.

Evra will now have to up his per­for­mances if he is to hold on to his left-back po­si­tion.

Fer­gu­son said: “Alexan­der is one of the best young left-backs in Europe and we’re de­lighted to sign him.

“He’s some­one we’ve been watch­ing for a while now. He gives us some re­ally ex­cit­ing op­tions in that po­si­tion.”

But­tner was pre­vi­ously a tar­get for Premier League new­com­ers Southamp­ton but the deal broke down.

The de­fender’s move has raised a few eye­brows though as he failed to play in the Nether­lands’ Euro 2012 team.

The Dutch­man has yet to make a se­nior ap­pear­ance for his coun­try and was over­looked for Euro 2012 de­spite be­ing in their pro­vi­sional squad.


But­tner com­pleted his med­i­cal on Mon­day and the sign­ing was fi­nally com­pleted yes­ter­day as he penned a deal un­til 2017 with United.

The for­mer Ajax youth said: “Join­ing Manch­ester United is one of the best days of my life.

“It’s a team I have ad­mired for many years now and I can’t wait to play my part in help­ing the club be suc­cess­ful.”

Ne­manja Vidic in­sists United must put their Good­i­son Park night­mare be­hind them.

United last lost their open­ing game in 2004/05 and Vidic was crit­i­cal of the team when he said: “We had some pos­ses­sion but we weren’t clin­i­cal.

“We’ve lost our first match in the past and fin­ished well so hope­fully we can win our next game and go on a long run.”

Jonny Evans isn’t expected back within a fort­night and the de­fence was also miss­ing Rio Fer­di­nand, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.

But Vidic said they could not at­tribute their de­feat to that.

“When you come to places like Ever­ton you need big, strong de­fend­ers, but we won’t use in­juries as an ex­cuse,” said the Ser­bian.

SERBS YOU RIGHT: Vidic blames their loss on the lack of

clin­i­cal fin­ish­ing

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