Luke Garbutt was one of the few young talents who emerged on the scene when Roberto Martinez was manager at Goodison Park.
The academy product was given the chance to shine by the then Everton boss back in 2014, and despite seeing his Toffees side suffered a Europa League defeat to Krasnodar in December of that year, he singled out Garbutt for praise.
He said: “I thought Luke Garbutt looked outstanding throughout the game and overall I was very pleased. It’s a shame that we couldn’t get a positive result but today was for other reasons.”
In fact, a few months earlier, Martinez waxed lyrical about Garbutt’s potential and just how far he could go. He remarked: “Garbutt is a phenomenal youngster and someone who has earned the place to be in the first team. He’s someone who can compete for a place in the first team. He’s got great people in front of him and he can learn a lot. He has played really well with the Under-21s at England level and he’s got a great future so he’s great to have in the squad because it’s very difficult.”
But after enjoying somewhat of a breakthrough campaign in the 2014/2015 season at Goodison Park that saw him make ten first-team appearances in total, his career has nosedived since then.
He’s had a range of loan spells at the likes of Fulham, Wigan, Oxford United and this year at Ipswich, and looks no closer to really staking a genuine claim in the squad at Everton.
Turning 27 later this May, it is difficult to see how current Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti sees him as part of the Merseyside club’s future. Whilst he has registered an impressive five goals and three assists this year for Ipswich, that is only at League One level.
Garbutt’s current contract at Goodison Park comes to an end this summer, and judging by how things have gone since a few years ago, Everton should really show no mercy to the left-back and finally let him go. With Lucas Digne holding down the first-team spot, and Leighton Baines still in the club’s ranks, there simply isn’t any justification for keeping the former Toffees starlet.