Lambert: No Town Offer on Table For Garbutt
Friday, 9th Oct 2020 11:34
Town boss Paul Lambert has dismissed summer claims that the Blues made a contract offer to former loanee Luke Garbutt, who they are likely to face in action for his new club Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on Saturday.
Garbutt was available on a free transfer following his release by Everton and general manager of football operations Lee O’Neill had said the club were monitoring his situation would love him to return, but it was ultimately viewed as too expensive a deal to do.
Lambert said: “We couldn't do anything with him because of the situation. Everybody thought Garbs was going to go to the Championship because he played that well for us.
“So that's where we left it, we thought he was going to have a lot of takers up one division higher, so we just left it like that. Then he went to Blackpool so good luck to him there.”
Was there an offer on the table for him? “No, there wasn’t because everybody assumed he was going to go to the Championship. I think his agent wanted a helluva lot of money and there was no way we could have afforded that.”
While Garbutt, who has confirmed that he had been in talks with Sunderland prior to joining the Tangerines, has primarily been viewed as a left-back throughout his career, Lambert says he sees him as someone more suited to playing further forward, the Blues having utilised him as a wing-back in the latter period of last season and in midfield early on in the campaign.
“I never saw Garbutt as a total left-back, I saw higher up on that side,” he said. “I think the forward play from him was really good.
“I didn’t want to sign him as a left-back, we needed a left-back and Wardy [Stephen Ward] came into the equation and has been an absolute revelation for us. We thought he was going to the Championship that he wanted.”
He added: “We couldn’t do it, that’s the way the money was, we couldn’t afford that level of money. I don’t know what Blackpool pay, I know they’ve been invested in, but I don’t know.
“We had to move on because, as I’ve said before, we thought Garbs was going on somewhere else. Football is like that, you move on.”
Quizzed on whether he was surprised when the 27-year-old eventually joined Blackpool towards the end of last month, he said: “I don't know. I don't really get surprised with football too much. Good luck to him. Good guy, no problem with him, he did really well for us and as I said before good luck to him there.”
Garbutt made his first senior start for the Seasiders as they were beaten on penalties by Accrington Stanley in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday, playing the first 73 minutes, having previously come off the bench in last weekend’s 3-2 home defeat to Lincoln City.
“He had a game last week [for the reserves], he came on and had some minutes at the weekend and he’s had over 70 minutes here,” manager Neil Critchley told the Blackpool Gazette following the Stanley game.
“You’ve got to remember he’s had no pre-season and we can also take that into account with some of the other players as well.
“We’re still finding rhythm. We’re always doing that, and six or seven months without playing games is a long period of time for anyone. But Luke will certainly benefit from that experience.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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