Sunderland dodged a bullet by failing to sign Blackpool defender Luke Garbutt following his release by Everton this summer.
According to the Chronicle, Phil Parkinson considered signing Garbutt upon his release by Everton as the Black Cats boss searched the transfer market for a new left-back.
Garbutt was allowed to leave Goodison Park as a free agent after 11-years with the Merseyside outfit, having made just 12 first-team appearances with the last of which coming in a 15-minute run-out at home to Sunderland in May 2015.
The 27-year-old was offloaded to Ipswich Town for the final year of his £28,000-per-week contract, where he featured 30 times across all competitions with his outings split 50/50 between duties at left-back and left-midfield.
Paul Lambert’s Portman Road natives along with unnamed Championship sides were also believed to have been interested in signing Garbutt permanently whilst Sunderland were on the scene, though ultimately opted against pursuing a deal.
Sunderland also failed to get Garbutt’s signing across the line before his unveiling as a Blackpool player, despite claims Chief Executive Officer Jim Rodwell tabled a contract offer to the former England U21 international.
A deal to bring Garbutt to the Stadium of Light would have been a major blunder by the man only appointed CEO in May, however, as the Seasiders are yet to get the best from their £540,000-rated defender.
Garbutt was lauded as a “phenomenal” talent during his first-team breakthrough at Everton under Roberto Martinez, with the Spaniard fully convinced he was ready to push for a place in the starting line-up in 2014.
Martinez felt the then-21-year-old had impressed enough in his first two senior appearances to put pressure on Leighton Baines and Bryan Oviedo, noting via the Liverpool Echo: “Garbutt is a really phenomenal young man to have around. He is someone that keeps developing and his talent means he has a bright future.
“Luke has had a very impressive last four or five months in the manner that he has worked really hard at his game. His two performances over the 90 minutes for the first-team against Krasnodar and Wolfsburg were very impressive and I think he is ready to challenge for a position in the first-team.”
Garbutt never enjoyed the bright future Martinez expected with loan moves to Fulham, Wigan Athletic, Oxford United and Ipswich to come in the years that followed, and remains a shadow of the player he once could have become.
Blackpool are now witnessing that with the Leeds United product starting just two of his three League One appearances thus far this season, with a hamstring injury restricting Garbutt to just 123-minutes of third-tier action.
He has failed to impress when on the field, either, with SofaScore data showing just 0.3 key balls and 0.3 shots per league game while Garbutt occupies the left-channel, as well as a mere 17 accurate passes, 0.7 tackles, 0.3 successful dribbles and 2.3 duels won (47%).
Parkinson may have liked the idea of signing Garbutt and Rodwell may have put a contract on the table, but Sunderland have been far better off without the Everton failure.