Everton defender Luke Garbutt sends Colchester United a big ‘thank you’

Luke Garbutt

Luke Garbutt - Credit: Archant

Luke Garbutt has thanked Colchester United for enabling his career to blossom, while preparing him for life on the big stage.

It has been a whirlwind last 10 days for talented left-back Garbutt who was on loan with the U’s, and preparing for a League One fixture against Shrewsbury Town at the start of last week, before being whisked back to Merseyside to take his place in the Everton squad to face Liverpool in one of the biggest derbies on the planet.

“It was all a big shock really,” revealed Garbutt.

“I had a slight suspicion that something might happen, due to Bryan Oviedo’s unfortunate injury (double leg break) at Everton.

“But it was still a big surprise. I was preparing to play another game for Colchester, against Shrewsbury (it was later postponed), when Everton phoned late on Monday afternoon.

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“I was quickly back up to Merseyside, was on the bench against Liverpool (4-0 defeat) the following evening, and also among the substitutes against Aston Villa last weekend (2-1 victory).

“I haven’t had time to pause for breath, really. It’s nice to be back at Everton, back up north where I’m from, but I had such a terrific time at Colchester and will always be indebted to the club.

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“I got on so well with everyone at Colchester.

“I feel my game really developed, and its stood me in good stead for the future, both as a footballer and as a person.

“Playing so many games has meant that I can return to Everton feeling as fit-as-a-fiddle. “I’m match-fit and ready to take my chance, if it comes around.”

Costa Rica international Oviedo’s long-term absence means that Garbutt is now the chief deputy left-back to England’s Leighton Baines and the youngster will be hoping to make his Premier League debut in future games, perhaps as early as at Tottenham this Sunday.

Garbutt made giant strides during his four months at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, while Joe Dunne’s men certainly benefited from having such a quality left-back on their books – he made 19 appearances in all, netting three goals and providing several assists for team-mates.

“I fully expect Colchester to finish in the top half of the table,” insisted Garbutt.

“The team have been flying, and I think they will have a strong second half of the season. I wish them all the best.”

The U’s have not played since Garbutt’s departure.

Their next game is at home to fifth-placed Rotherham United on Saturday.

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