Garbutt: Everything is Complicated
Wednesday, 29th Apr 2020 11:01
Blues loanee Luke Garbutt has been reflecting on his complicated immediate future with both his Everton contract and Town spell up at the end of June and football in a state of uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Garbutt, 26, is certain to leave Goodison Park this summer and said earlier in the season that he might be keen on a permanent move to the Blues, although hinting that might be more likely if the Blues were promoted. TWTD understands a number of Championship sides were keeping tabs on him during the season.
The EFL currently hopes to complete the 2019/20 campaign behind closed doors over 56 days from June 6th but with many players’ contracts - including Garbutt’s Everton deal and Ipswich loan - up on June 30th. Earlier this month, FIFA agreed an arrangement whereby contracts ending at the end of June will automatically be extended until the point when the season is eventually concluded.
But given the uncertain outlook and with many clubs having financial worries, the likes of Garbutt are in limbo.
“Everything is complicated,“ Garbutt told The Athletic. “Clubs are a little bit reluctant to talk to players as they’re just trying to get the season finished in the safest way possible.
“I’ve just got to wait and then look to perform well and do the things I’m doing in the summer to get a move, whether that be Ipswich or elsewhere.
“You’ve just got to live your life as you can and try not to think about whether I’m going to find another club or what happens if the season is extended.
“As a professional footballer you’ve just got to make sure you maintain your mental and physical health as best possible. It’s a difficult time for footballers but it’s insignificant in relation to what else is going on.”
Former England U21 international Garbutt, who has made 29 starts and one sub appearance for the Blues, scoring six times, has been pleased with his form during his spell at Portman Road.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time there,” he continued. “ I’ve managed to do quite well and play a lot of games whereas at other clubs I’ve been in and out of the team. I’ve found a bit of clarity at Ipswich and I’m improving.
“I’m pleased from a personal point of view but we haven’t kicked on like we would have wanted. It’s a brilliant club and it’s just a shame that it’s down in League One.”
Reflecting further on his future, he says he could consider a move abroad: “I’m open to a new culture and country if the football side was in line with my ambition.
“If the move suits then 100 per cent I’d do that. I’d like to play at the highest level possible.
"The good thing for me this season is that I’ve enjoyed my football and it’s been positive. I’d like to continue that trend at the highest level possible.”
Meanwhile, asked by a fan on Twitter whether he’d feel safe playing football in the current circumstances, Garbutt said: “This pandemic is bigger than football mate, I just hope everyone is staying safe, then hopefully when it’s safe to do so we can all get back to playing and watching football again.”
Elsewhere, ex-Blues midfielder Conor Hourihane has been reflecting on his spell at Town during which time he failed to make a first-team appearance.
The 29-year-old, who went on to represent the Republic of Ireland and is currently with Aston Villa, followed his old Sunderland manager Roy Keane to Portman Road in July 2010 but was unable to make an impact.
Having been offered a six-month contract extension by Keane's successor Paul Jewell the following summer he moved on to Plymouth.
“If I’m being brutally honest then I probably wasn’t ready,” he told The Athletic. “Looking back. I probably felt that moving from Sunderland to Ipswich, dropping a league, would mean I would get the games I always wanted.
“I was naïve to the Championship as well and having now played in it for many years I know it’s a fantastic league with fantastic players. I wasn’t ready at the time.
“Roy being under pressure might have played a part in it. If he had been a bit more comfortable then I might have got some game-time, who knows? There were many factors why I didn’t play there really.
“It didn’t work out but I enjoyed my year there, it was a fantastic club, and it ultimately helped me get to where I am today.”
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