Dangerous going forward with a deadly left boot – Garbutt should make a big impression at Town
- Credit: Archant
Football writer Carl Marston watched every one of Luke Garbutt’s 20 appearances for Colchester United, back in the 2013-14 season. Garbutt is set to sign for Town, on a season-long loan from Everton. Here are Carl’s impressions.
I was very impressed with Luke Garbutt, when he turned up at Colchester United as an enthusiastic 20-year-old, on loan from Everton in September, 2013.
Many loan players you tend to forget, over the years, often because they fail to hit it off at their new temporary club, or just never make an impression following a switch from a bigger parent club.
The younger ones can often feel lost, and find it difficult to settle in a first-team environment after being used to the 'comforts' and 'safety' of the Academy back at their higher-profile club.
But Garbutt was not one of those - in fact, he was one of the main success stories of Colchester United's use of the loan system, over the last decade.
Garbutt made his U's debut the day after signing, from Goodison Park, and proceeded to make an immediate impression with a very mature-looking performance as a left-back in a 1-1 draw at Bradford City.
The U's were in League One at the time, but struggling a little under manager Joe Dunne.
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Garbutt gave them some much-needed quality down the left-flank, strong defensively while being very dangerous as an attacking outlet, running with freedom and without fear.
He delivered a good ball from the wing - he was not one to waste a cross, even though he had only turned 20 that May, and whose only previous first-team experience had been on loan at League Two outfit Cheltenham Town two years earlier, at the age of 18.
He was also equipped with a quality free-kick - always a big asset for any team.
Garbutt initially arrived at Colchester on a one-month loan, but it was not surprising that his stay was extended.
He bagged three goals in 20 appearances, including a superb equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Preston North End on November 23, 2013.
In fact, at the end of the season, I included Garbutt's superb goal at Deepdale as one of my 10 highlights of the 2013-14 season.
He also scored in the FA Cup against Sheffield United, and in a home defeat at Crewe.
Dunne was delighted to extend Garbutt's loan stay still further, in January, but he only played one more game (a 4-2 win at Carlisle) before being recalled by Everton due to an injury crisis.
U's fans have fond memories of Garbutt and so, hopefully, will Town supporters over the coming months.