By ESPNSTAR.com staff
The former Vitesse Arnhem man joined the club over the summer and starred on his debut against Wigan back in September. Since then, however, he has only made intermittent appearances in the Capital One Cup, FA Cup and the Champions League and has been unable to unseat Patrice Evra from the left-back position.
The 23-year-old has a fan in manager Sir Alex Ferguson but in a bid to spur his development, reports in the British media seemed to indicate recently that a loan move was being considered for the talented defender.
But Van Nistelrooy called for patience and more time in evaluating Buttner and spoke glowingly of the youngster's potential.
"Alexander has made a great start," the Dutch hitman told manutd.com. "He needs a bit more time as he's definitely somebody for the future."
"He's been getting games in the Champions League. For him, it's a dream come true. He's got the ability and needs to learn to obtain more experience and he's definitely somebody to look out for."
Ferguson has already stated that he firmly considers Buttner to be Evra's long-term successor.
"We took him [Buttner] for the future and to succeed Patrice Evra," the United boss told Dutch broadcaster Omroep Gelderland.
"What we wanted was an attack-minded left back and we see this in him. He trains very well, has a house and is completely settled here in England.
"You come from another culture, to another country at a big club. That's a big change. So it helps if someone like Robin [van Persie] has extensive experience in England. Of course they talk a lot with each other, that's understandable."
Buttner played the full ninety minutes in United's 2-2 draw against West Ham in the FA Cup Third round over the weekend.