Despite Everton having something of a left-back shortage this season, one man has still not managed to earn a place back in the first-team. With Leighton Baines out injured Everton turned to Cuco Martina to fill the void. All the while Luke Garbutt sat out, playing football with the under-23s instead.
Garbutt looked like he would become a future star of the Everton first-team when he burst onto the scene in the 2014-15 campaign. However, he soon found himself out of contention and a long string of injuries curtailed his development.
At the start of the current campaign Garbutt was not given a squad number and, despite returning to the first-team squad for the clash with Watford in February, Garbutt has not played for Everton since the May 2015 defeat to Sunderland.
The former England under-21 international is now 24-years-old and his career at Everton looks over and plenty of teams will be looking at his services. One team that should make a move for Garbutt is the club where it all started, Leeds United.
Garbutt, from Harrogate, joined the Leeds academy at the age of eight and was with the club until 2009. Everton then signed Garbutt from Leeds for a compensation fee of £600,000 – as reported by The Telegraph.
It was a deal that left Leeds fans bitterly disappointed. They had lost Danny Rose in similar circumstances two years earlier to Tottenham and Garbutt’s departure was a bitter blow.
When he first emerged in the Everton first-team Leeds fans were rueing his exit even more, but will be forgiven now for not caring much for his re-signing. It was a move that angered the board and management at Leeds in 2009 as well as fans, so Garbutt would have some bridges to repair before contemplating such a move.
But Garbutt would be a good signing. A local lad, he also plays in a position where Leeds are lacking. Laurens De Bock has flattered to deceive since his January arrival whilst Leeds have not been able to replace Charlie Taylor after his move to Burnley.
The fact he would also be a cheap transfer will also be a huge draw for Leeds if they do decide to make a swoop for Garbutt.
It would not be a transfer to please every Leeds fan, but Garbutt was young when he left Thorp Arch and, given the state of affairs at Leeds, can be forgiven for believing his future was better off at Finch Farm.
Now Leeds have a chance to bring Garbutt back and should not let the past get in the way of this opportunity.