Last night Everton confirmed that they have signed defender Luke Garbutt to a new five-year deal keeping him with the club through the 2019-2020 season. This brings to close the speculation that the left-back would be leaving Merseyside this summer in order to find first-team football elsewhere. Garbutt, 22 appeared in four Premier League and five Europa League matches for the Toffees last season and picked up one assist.
The player was concerned about the lack of playing time that he received as he was unable to unseat Leighton Baines. Concerns about his departure were given more credence at the end of the season when Baines missed the last two matches of the season due to an ankle injury. Instead of giving Garbutt playing time, manager Roberto Martinez opted to play Brendan Galloway.
Despite the rumors that he was unsettled at the club, Garbutt painted a rosy picture of how he feels about the Blues:
"Over the years, I have grown to have an affinity with the Club and I feel a sense of belonging here.
Under the manager, the future looks bright and positive and I want to be a part of that. It is a great Club to be a part of and the staff and supporters have been great with me from day one."
In order for Garbutt to continue to progress, he is expected to go out on loan this coming season. Newly promoted Bournemouth has been mentioned as a possible landing spot.
In other Everton/Bournemouth-related news, the clubs have confirmed that veteran defender Sylvain Distin has signed with Bournemouth via a free transfer. The 37-year old Frenchman had been with Everton since 2009 and will be joining his fifth Premier League club since leaving Paris Saint Germain in 2002.
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