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Garbutt Not Ruling Out Town Return
Friday, 12th Jun 2020 15:03

Left-back Luke Garbutt says he doesn’t know what his future holds with his Blues loan at an end and his contract with parent club Everton up this summer, but isn’t ruling out a return to Portman Road.

Garbutt and keeper Will Norris were on season-long loans at Portman Road which were brought to an end by the decision not to resume League One and settle the season on points per game earlier in the week.

“The decision to end it on Tuesday was a bittersweet one for myself really,” the 27-year-old told the club site. “I’d have liked to have finished the season on the pitch and tried to win all the remaining games left. I wanted to leave on a high and hopefully in a play-off place.

“It’s disappointing to finish the season under points per game but with the money and the financial situation, it couldn’t conclude. It’s frustrating but we’ve got to live with it.”

The Harrogate-born defender says the decision was met with disappointment throughout the squad.

“We’ve got a group chat and we’re all talking on there,” he added. “We keep in contact. They’re obviously disappointed about the season ending but as a footballer you’ve always got to take it one step at a time.

“There’s always going to be ups and downs as a footballer. They’re disappointed about not getting promotion but now they’ve got to focus on going again next season and trying to gain promotion.

“A club like Ipswich shouldn’t be in League One. They’ve just got to focus on doing the best they can in pre-season to prepare themselves for a successful campaign next time.”

Reflecting on his time at Portman Road, he said: “As a club and a collective, we’ve obviously failed in what we wanted to achieve. We wanted to gain promotion and we fell short. Especially towards the turn of the year onwards, we struggled for form.

“On a personal note, I think I’ve had a good solid season. I’ve had a good rapport with the fans. I’ve really enjoyed my time here. The club is a great club that doesn’t deserve to be in this league. It’s just disappointing that we couldn’t gain promotion when things were looking so good.

“We were on a good run of form, we were relatively consistent but then we had a massive drop off and were never able to recover.

“I’ve played pretty much all the games and my form has been relatively good throughout the season, although I thought I could have done a little better in the weeks before lockdown.

“On a whole, it’s been a good one personally and it’s been a disappointing one as a club because a club of Ipswich’s status should definitely be in the automatic promotion spots, if not winning the league. From that point of view, it’s been a failed season really.”

The former England U16, U17, U18, U19, U20 and U21 international was pleased with his own consistency: “Towards the start of the season, the games were really good. I got injured but then I came back into the side and we were winning games. I’d probably say it’s one of my most consistent seasons of my career so far.

“I’ve had two or three consistent seasons and this is probably my fourth one. I’ve really enjoyed my time here. The manager has given me the belief and confidence to go out and be a fixture in the team so I can only thank him for that.

“The fans have been really good to me. I’ve had a good relationship with them. It’s been nice playing in front of 20,000 at Portman Road. I’ve had a really good time, looking back. Like I said, it’s just disappointing that we couldn’t finish the games and try and salvage a play-off spot.”

Looking ahead, he says his future is very much up in the air as things stand with his long-term Goodison Park deal at an end. He isn’t ruling out a return to the Blues, although TWTD understands Championship clubs were keeping tabs on him during his time at Portman Road.

“I’m out of contract with Everton this summer,” he said. “Once everything is wrapped up football-wise, I’ll have ongoings with my representative, my agent. We’ll put something together and see what options I do have. I’ll see what clubs are interested, see what Ipswich are saying.

“Right now, it’s early days so I don’t really know what my future holds. It’ll be a drawn out process throughout the summer.

“Hopefully I can get to a point where I’ve got a decision to make on a number of clubs. That’s not to say that I don’t rule out a permanent move to Ipswich if they were to offer me something through the summer because I really enjoyed my time here. I would never rule that situation out.”

Although disappointed that the campaign was brought to a premature close, it does mean both Garbutt and the club can now concentrate on looking ahead.

“Tuesday was a big thing,” he said. “It was dragging on for too long, the uncertainty of possibly going back in. Now there’s real clarity, you can focus on what the future holds in terms of myself personally.

“Ipswich can move forward as a football club. The club will be disappointed but now there is closure of the season, they can move on as a football club and build for next season where hopefully they will have a positive season. There’s better days ahead for the football club, I’m sure.”

In total, Garbutt made 29 starts and one sub appearance, scoring six goals.

Photo: TWTD

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BlueandTruesince82 added 15:07 - Jun 12
Sign him, one of the few highlights of a dismal season

ITFCsince73 added 15:09 - Jun 12
Even with the current financial black hole in football. He’s way out of our league.

Reuserscurtains added 15:09 - Jun 12
He won’t sign and can you blame him? Sinking ship

ringwoodblue added 15:15 - Jun 12
For once, quite an honest assessment from a player who did seem to make a difference whenever he was on the pitch. Along with KVY, Downes and Woolfenden, he was one of the positives of this season but I fear that only one of those will be around next season. Shame but thanks Luke for your contribution while you were at Town and good luck for the future.

ChrisFelix added 15:21 - Jun 12
Rather than waste money on a contract for Skuse should have invested in a deal for Garbutt

Suffolkboy added 15:26 - Jun 12
Whenever we saw him he always looked thoroughly professional , quick and thoughtful ,and he had a good left foot !
Certainly would be a worthwhile addition to our squad ,BUT times are going to be very different in more ways than one ; and we shall have to wait and see just how many clubs can survive financially :it’s almost beyond difficult right now to predict the upcoming complexities !
Whatever COYB

MickMillsTash added 15:26 - Jun 12
Not sure of him as a defender but we will miss his goals and dead ball skills
Cross for Norwood at Wycombe was possibly our highlight of the season

DurhamTownFan added 15:36 - Jun 12
Changed his tone from the last interview he gave on this topic. Perhaps he's a little worried about the finances of football and more prepared to accept us as a result?

Whatever the reason, I'd keep him if we can. H'e got his weaknesses, but we're in League 1. We can't sign perfect players at this level!

JDAndCoke added 15:39 - Jun 12
Very noticeable that when talking about next season, he refers to Town as "they" and when talking about the season just gone, he refers as "we." Don't think there's any chance at all that he'll be signing here and to be fair, who can blame him? He's 27 years old so technically now should be peaking in his career. He's had a very good season in League 1 and should now go on to prove himself at Championship level which I have no doubt he's easily good enough for. He'll also earn a much bigger contract for himself and his family than we'd probably give him. Absolutely no complaints from me, he's one of a few that comes away with credit from this season and I for one will enjoy seeing how his career progresses from here. Good luck and thanks LG

ChrisR added 16:33 - Jun 12
Going forward he was great , but just dont see us making the best offer .
So we will end up taking chances on more lower league cast offs and selling our best young players. Never mind with Skuse , Chambers and serial loser Lambert what cahnce do we have anyway .

RegencyBlue added 16:43 - Jun 12
No way will he be signing for us.

Freebies with no hope of finding another club and has beens is all we will be looking at!

Bert added 16:56 - Jun 12
We can only hope. Certainly a cut above most except for the odd game.

TimmyH added 17:10 - Jun 12
I'd be very surprised if he comes back here...I should think a Championship side he'll go to.

algarvefan added 17:18 - Jun 12
I don't think we will see him a Town shirt again, he started very very well but for me, a bit like the team, faded badly and I am sure he could pick up a more lucrative contract with a Championship club, which is his level.

Good luck Luke, thank you for your efforts. Our only hope lies in the academy and the players coming through. Time to build that squad we have all been on about for ages, no loans, just pick the best from what we have left and win the blooming title.

cat added 17:19 - Jun 12
Unlikely he’ll stay but it would be good to see him link up with Lankester (as a winger) cause you’d have two flair players in the final third, something we’ve been lacking of late

ITFCsince73 added 17:24 - Jun 12
Although I thought Garbo was a great addition for us.
In many ways he is a classic case of why football needs to change.
Still a young lad, hes coming to the end of a 5 year contract that paid him around 30k per week.
Already a multi millionaire on the back of that contract.
Amazingly never played higher than L1 throughout the 5 years.

runaround added 17:33 - Jun 12
I get the feeling he will only sign here if he doesn’t get a better offer & at this time in his career who can blame him. Better might not necessarily be the highest wages but where he feels happiest & probably where he is likely to get games.
All best are off transfer wise at the moment so many players may not get the options they hope for

oldegold added 17:57 - Jun 12
We are a club with an unambitious president..slowly sinking into the mire. In terminal decline so players like Garbutt will not play for us again.

BeattiesBackPocket added 18:07 - Jun 12
Seems a nice lad and he is one of only five players in our squad last season capable of playing at a higher level but he’s on £20,000 a week at Everton I can’t see this happening it’s a shame a very good dead ball specialist that we haven’t had in years and ways in with some goals and assists I have no doubt he’ll be in the championship our budget will not cover him next season we will be in that bargain basement again unfortunately

Ipswichbusiness added 18:21 - Jun 12
A quality player and one of our best of the season.

However, his reported wages with Everton were nearly £1.5 million per year. We can’t afford that.

He will go to a Championship side.

We will have to look to develop Kenlock and/or Nydam.

Gforce added 18:32 - Jun 12
Would be great to see Garbutt sign a new deal here, but I think it's highly unlikely.
Will have to find a replacement from somewhere though, because Kenlock is definitely not the answer.
On the whole probably 60% of our squad is just not good enough, even at league 1 level, hence only 4 wins in 26 and bottom 4 on current form.
What we need is 3/4 experienced players from the championship, probably ones in the twilight of their careers, to compliment our promising youngsters.
That's providing Mr Evans can find a few quid.

ArnieM added 18:41 - Jun 12
.......I just wish players would be honest. Garbutt clearly won’t be returning to Town, as soon as ANY Championship Club show and interest , that is wher he will go. So just pack it 8n Garbutt.

Lathers added 18:53 - Jun 12
Loads of talent, but one of the thickest on field players I’ve ever seen. I guess that’s why he never made it at a higher level. Can’t imagine he will return as wages will need to be capped which will give Nydam, Kenlock and McGavin a chance.

Kesblue66 added 20:52 - Jun 12
I would like Garbutt ,but good riddance to Norris he cost a lot of goals,as a result a lot of points

Len_Brennan added 23:05 - Jun 12
Unlikely to be with us next season, as Championship clubs will have noticed his quality & goals, but in one sense the premature ending of the season works in our favour, and provides an opportunity to sign players early, while the clubs in the leagues above have 6 more weeks of this season ahead of them to worry about. Many are still unsure what league they will be playing in, so won't be moving in the transfer market just yet.
The post coronavirus world will be tough for all businesses, so most football clubs won't be assembling big, expensive squads next season; which leaves a lot of players who have come to the end of their contracts in an unusually vulnerable position. He may well be advised to take a decent contract with a big Division 1 club now, rather than risking a few months of uncertainty. He may well have something lined up already, but if not him, the same rationale should work in helping us secure some lower league targets we have in mind (Matthews & Darcy from Bolton?) before the sides in Championship come in & outbid or out-impress us.

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