Calum Butcher believes the timing of Paul McMullan’s move across the Tannadice Street divide from Dundee United to Dundee was ‘strange.’
McMullan will make his first Dundee derby appearance in dark blue after his January loan move from United turned permanent in the summer.
The playmaker has made a massive impact for Dundee since his move.
He has two goals and five assists for James McPake’s side this season after being the architect of seven goals in 15 last term.
Butcher has no issues with McMullan’s move across the city after a four-year spell at United.
But he does question why ex-United boss Micky Mellon sanctioned the move for the playmaker.
“Paul is a big player for them and someone we need to nullify,” said Butcher, 30.
“He was an important player for us. I thought it was a strange decision for Paul to leave.
“I felt at the time he was doing well for us and always a threat. The timing of it was strange.
“When he left in January we were looking for a little bit of a threat down that side.
“He left and went to our rivals. It was a strange one but managers see things differently.
“Paul has to look after himself and his future. If something was on the table from another club then fair play to him for securing his future.
“From our point of view it was disappointing at the time.
“But it’s put to bed now and the players we’ve brought in can deal with big games like the derby.”
Calum Butcher enjoyed double derby day demolition for Dundee United
Butcher has proved a seasoned pro when it comes to the Dundee derby.
The Englishman will be the only player in the United squad on Sunday to have played in both 6-2 derby wins for the Tannadice club.
He started the New Year day victory in January 2015 and netted a double as United replicated that scoreline in August 2019.
It’s 17 years since United lost a city derby at home.
And Butcher, who recently agreed an extended contract, is in no mood for that record to be broken.
“I’m very lucky to have some good memories of the derby,” added Butcher. “I scored two goals in the second 6-2 win.
“You can feel the buzz about the place and the fans getting excited.
“It’s the chance for them to have the bragging rights for the season.
“When you first sign and turn up at Tannadice, you realise how close the stadiums are. It’s pretty surreal.
“Fans always say ‘derbies are the one.’
“You go into those games with that emotion. I like the emotion of derbies – it’s something I thrive on.
“I struggled last year without the fans so to have them back in a full house at Tannadice is something to look forward to.”