With Lucas Digne having seamlessly taken over the reins from Leighton Baines as Everton’s leftback, it’s easy to forget that there has been a line of successors for the venerable veteran and they have all fallen by the wayside.
Brendan Galloway left for Luton Town earlier this summer and now Luke Garbutt will be joining Ipswich Town in League One on loan, with one year left on his current contract with the Blues.
Garbutt spent last season on loan at Oxford United, featuring in 36 games scoring four times with eight assists. He had a difficult start there but slowly bedded himself in and won over the supporters in his hybrid fullback/wingback role, finishing the year strong and leading to interest from Oxford to make the loan deal a permanent transfer.
Back in 2015, when he was 22, it looked like the world was his oyster, with 53 youth international appearances for England and about to replace Baines. He made 10 appearances in the 2014-15 season with the Blues under Roberto Martinez as Everton progressed to the Europa League quarterfinals.
But then Martinez’s third season was a disaster and the Harrogate-born youngster went to the Championship on loan to Fulham where he played 27 times. The next season there was no room for him under Ronald Koeman so he went on a half-season loan to Wigan Athletic, who were happy to return him to the Blues in January. He even had a spell with the Under-23s with David Unsworth but there was no redemption for Garbutt.
The 26-year-old joined the Toffees a decade ago from Leeds United’s Under-18 squad, and leaves the Blues having featured 12 times (with one assist) for the senior side, and 71 times (9 goals, 5 assists) for the Under-23s.