Friday night saw Everton’s under-23s end their terrible run of form in what was their final game of the season. They drew 2-2 with Manchester United to end the run of five consecutive defeats. For some of the Everton players, it may be the last time they play for the club. Belgian winger David Henen has already confirmed he was on his way out of the club this summer. Now it seems Luke Garbutt will also exit.
This weekend saw Everton first-team boss Sam Allardyce admit that Garbutt would be told to find a new club this summer.
He is quoted by the Liverpool Echo as stating:
“He’s had a difficult time here and, personally, Luke Garbutt’s future is elsewhere.”
But at least he signed off with style. Everton, whose other goal came from defender Matty Foulds, took a 2-1 lead at the start of the second-half. It came after Garbutt, who joined from Leeds United in a deal reported by the Telegraph to be worth £600k, scored a fantastic strike with his rocket of a left-foot.
It was a moment indicative of the quality Garbutt clearly possesses, but what has not been enough to take his career to the next level at Everton.
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. A string of injuries curtailed his development with loan spells at Fulham and Wigan Athletic failing to spark a revival.
At the start of the current campaign, Garbutt was not given a squad number. 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. This came despite a shortage of left-back options at Goodison Park this season. Still, Garbutt was overlooked.
At one point the former England under-21 international looked like being the natural successor to Leighton Baines but those days are in the past. This summer he will have to leave to get his career back on track, but at least he signed off with a bang.