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O'Neill: Time Will Tell on Garbutt Return
Friday, 10th Jul 2020 09:58

General manager of football operations Lee O’Neill says Town would love left-back Luke Garbutt to return to the club on a permanent basis and that the 27-year-old’s situation will be monitored.

Garbutt spent a successful spell on loan with the Blues in 2019/20 before being released by parent club Everton after 11 years at Goodison at the end of the campaign.

O’Neill says the Blues are interested in the Harrogate-born full-back returning but admits money could be an issue with Garbutt reportedly being paid £27,500 a week by the Toffeemen. Further to that, TWTD understands Championship clubs watched him regularly during his spell with the Blues.

“There’s no secret in the fact that he was on Premier League money, so for us to achieve anywhere near what he would possibly like going forward is going to be quite hard for us,” O’Neill said.

“But he is a player that we brought in on loan, he did fantastic for us, we really like him and we would love to have him at the club.

“Whether we can get to some kind of agreement, only time will tell. I’m sure he is waiting for options as well, to see what comes his way off the back of a good season.

“I think it’s one we’ll definitely monitor and we’ll try and do the best we can to get the player secured, but I don’t know is the answer to that. A lot determines what happens over the next few weeks.”

Town have recently been linked with one or two other players, largely strikers, who would certainly cost money and O’Neill says the club’s ability to pay fees ahead of the new season will also depend on developments in the weeks to come, but admits it’s going to be difficult.

Like other clubs, the Blues have been badly hit by the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and it seems likely that most of their business will be free transfers this summer with plenty of players expected to be available in that market at League One level as sides look to cut costs.

“I think a lot of those things will depend on what happens over the next few weeks,” O’Neill said when asked if Town might be in a position to pay fees this summer.

“I think some decisions for us [will depend on knowing] whether we’ve got the potential ability to get some revenue back from games and fans coming back to the stadiums, what happens with the season ticket compensation, whether the finance is there to be able to do it.

“It’s going to be difficult, there’s no doubt about it. It’s supply and demand, I think there’ll be a lot of players out of contract and there’ll be a lot of players who have had their contracts terminated. There’ll be more players out there than there were this time last year.”

Fans expressed concerns earlier in the week when it was reported that Swindon striker Eoin Doyle had opted to join League Two Bolton Wanderers having held talks with the Blues. However, O’Neill says Town never showed interest in the 32-year-old Irishman.

“We’ve never had any conversation regarding Eoin, that was a lot of speculation,” he said. “We get drawn into a lot of speculation with a lot of players, us and a number of other high profile clubs in League One.

“Eoin’s a good player and he did very well at Swindon this year and good luck to him with his move to Bolton but it was not a move that we were looking at from our point of view.

“We have a recruitment team and we are working on our particular targets. Just because we get linked with a particular player it doesn’t mean it’s always true.”

O’Neill says he anticipates the Blues being similar mentioned in connection with plenty of players over the course of the next few weeks.

“We always do, most of the time it’s not true but we do get linked with them because we’re actively looking at what options we have and where we can strengthen in certain areas of the pitch,” he said.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to be in a bidding war with another team and they choose another team, a lower club over us. It might be the situation that we’ve never made an offer for that player so he’s never considered us, that’s why he chose the other club.”

Among the free transfers linked with the Blues has been former Northampton keeper David Cornell with Town likely to be in the market for another number one with loanee Will Norris having returned to Wolves.

“I’m not going to through individual players, it’s not fair. We get linked with everyone, we honestly do,” O’Neill continued when asked about links with Cornell which go back to December.

“Cornell had a great season at Northampton, he’s a player we’re aware of 100 per cent, we know about him.

“At the moment though we’re trying to look at our own options, we’ve got Tomas Holy, who is itching to get back in and play games for us, and we’ve got two young goalkeepers [Adam Przybek and Harry Wright] that we’re currently looking at and we’re assessing where they’re at.

“It would be unfair to say we’re commenting on this or looking at bringing in another goalkeeper at this moment in time when we’ve got three that we’re assessing.”

With new signings expected to come in and with the squad already one of the largest in the division, it’s inevitable that some players will need to be offloaded this summer. However, given the lack of money in the game at present, that might not be easy, particularly if Town try to move on some of their higher earners.

“I never like the word offloading because it’s not as easy as just doing that,” O’Neill said. “Every player that comes through this door wants to play football in that starting XI on the Saturday, and they don’t want to sit in the stand and they don’t want to be part of the squad and just make up the numbers.

“I think it’s both parts, there’ll be a situation where the club maybe feels they’re more a valued asset to the squad and they maybe feel they want to start, and that’s where you get the issue sometimes.

“For those players who are not starting every week, it might be that some of them have to move on for their own personal reasons because they want to play football.

“We have to look at everything. We’ve got a big squad, we need to try and make sure we can look at options to bring players in but we can’t do that necessarily with a big squad. We’ll review that situation and work with players.”


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Bergholt_Blue added 10:08 - Jul 10
Not going to happen
1

Chrisd added 10:20 - Jul 10
To be fair to Garbutt, he can play at a higher level than us. He's 27, he'll want to get a decent salary and that's something we're aren't able to afford currently..
10

ArnieM added 10:21 - Jul 10
Well let me tell you then Lee, it ain’t going to happen.
3

Razor added 10:36 - Jul 10
I am still no way convinced on O"Neil and what he brings to this club, apart from probably being cheap.

I am nervous that he is "monitoring " the situation-----wot cobblers, he should be in there offering a contracr with bonuses and incentives to persuade him to return----it will need some creative thinking and imagination and thats where the problem lies!!
0

brassy added 10:50 - Jul 10
I would welcome joe royle with open arms come back joe.
3

Northstandveteran added 10:55 - Jul 10
I'd settle for Jim Royle after the last two seasons.
7

BlueandTruesince82 added 10:56 - Jul 10
I think the chances are almost 0 for Garbutt comming back. Amazing to think he's on near 30k a week at Everton, wonder how much of that we picked up?
0

ipswichdave added 11:20 - Jul 10
Kenlock should be given a chance, maybe not great but ours.Garbutt too expensive on wages plus 27
-4

KiwiBlue2 added 11:27 - Jul 10
In the current environment who knows ......... sometimes beggars cannot be choosers.........
0

MattinLondon added 11:55 - Jul 10
Like Garbutt has played most of his football in L1 and at 27 I don’t think that he will be inundated with offers of regular championship football.

Ordinarily he would have to take a huge pay cut from his reported £27k pw. But now, I think he’d be lucky to get anywhere close to £10k pw.

Considering his career to date, I think he’ll be a regular starter in a L1 side or someone who will play around 10-20 games a season in a championship side depending on the quality of that particular side. Albeit on much higher wages.

So I guess it depends on what he wants in life - to play regular football or higher wages.

7

brazil1982 added 12:02 - Jul 10
He earns at least £1.2m a year, think about that. In League 1.

Incredible.
2

MattinLondon added 12:06 - Jul 10
@brazil1982
Not really that all that incredible as he was on a PL contract.
2

Trac70 added 12:31 - Jul 10
I think Garbutt will go to Oxford if they win the play off final. He's spent time on loan there and it'll be championship football.
4

tractorboybig added 12:40 - Jul 10
as big a bull s***** as his master
0

Nobbysnuts added 12:45 - Jul 10
I'd settle for Mike Bassett to be honest.........
3

ChrisFelix added 12:51 - Jul 10
His age, wage & premiership games shows the greed of our top flight league
As ive said before rather than waste money giving our 'Premier League' midfield no 8 a new contact should use it for Garbutt
1

Carberry added 13:05 - Jul 10
We're assessing our 3 goalkeepers - really? Have you no idea what clowns you make of yourselves. If you don't know now where those keepers fit into our set up then you should clear your desk and go home. Of course you know but the BS that hangs over the administration of our club is pervasive and means you won't ever give a straight answer because it might just jeopardise season ticket sales or some other PR problem.
2

midastouch added 13:29 - Jul 10
Does anybody know what the sell by date is on O'Neill? Has it expired?
0

CraigEdwards added 14:56 - Jul 10
I see pitman had been released from Portsmouth. 41 goals in 66 starts Ann 33 sub. His still only 32 worth a punt on a free
-1

BeattiesBackPocket added 15:00 - Jul 10
It must be season ticket sales time. What an absolute idiot this guy is he’s either mugging fans off like his boss has the past 16 years or he really is that delusional to think he’ll come here when we couldn’t even afford Garbutt in the championship let alone league one. Stop believing the same old pre season season ticket sales speeches I’ve fallen for for the past few seasons!
3

blues1 added 15:01 - Jul 10
Amazing how some of our fans are. Doesnt matter who is in the job oneill is doing, they just slate them. Pathetic. What I'd say to the likes of midastouch and carberry, is look at his linked in profile, and you'll see what a highly qualified bloke he is, both from a football coaching point of view, and a business point of view. If hes asked a question, he has to answer it, and he does so. It may not be what we want to hear, but what else can he do? On top of that, as well as having been a player here, hes also a local lad and a town fan. So clearly has the best interests of the club at heart. But, no, you just keep slating him everytime he answers what's put to him. Just typical of a certain section of our so called fans.
1

midastouch added 15:08 - Jul 10
Is this you blues1? Are you the guy with the glasses?

-1

Linkboy13 added 17:20 - Jul 10
Between now and the start of the season we are going to be linked with players we haven't got a hope of signing . Think it will be a season of loans again .
2

blues1 added 17:36 - Jul 10
No midastouch, it isnt. Tho even if it had have been what's the point ur trying to make. I've put to you some facts about him, some which u wont bother to look up on his linked in profile. And all u can come back with is that? You dont have a reasoned argument? No, thought not.
0

stiffy501 added 17:38 - Jul 10
Colchester have a decent left back , just saying !!
1


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