Ipswich Town have enjoyed a strong start to their League One campaign, with the Tractor Boys having yet to suffer a defeat this season, as Paul Lambert’s men have recorded five wins and three draws respectively from their first eight games this term.
The Ipswich Town boss has made several new additions to his existing squad, with the Portman Road outfit bringing in three Premier League loanees this season, to supplement what was a depleted squad after more than 10 players departed through the exit door during the summer transfer window.
One of these three loanees has performed well in his short spell at the Suffolk based club is Everton full back-come-winger Luke Garbutt, who has embarked on his fifth loan spell away from Goodison Park since joining the Toffees back in the summer of 2009.
For this spotlight piece, we decided to take a closer look at the impact he has made and why his form will please his parent club.
Garbutt has so far made three appearances for the League One high flyers, with the Everton loanee missing a handful of games for the Tractor Boys after suffering an injury in an early season game against Sunderland, however the 26 year-old has thrived when he has featured so far this season.
With Garbutt naturally a full back, Lambert has recognised his attacking qualities and made the bold decision to push him forward to the role of left midfield in the Ipswich bosses favoured 4-4-2 formation.
And the former Oxford United player has thrived in this role so far, with the ex-Colchester man notching two goals already this season.
Has Luke Garbutt got a future at Everton?
And his creative exploits don’t end there, Garbutt has also recorded an average of two key passes and two crosses per game, which further underlines his creative qualities and strengthens the support for Lambert’s decision to play him higher up the pitch.
However the former Leeds United academy player will be looking to improve upon his record of successful passes this season, with the 26-year-old only averaging a return of 63%.
This is something his manager will also be looking to improve particularly as Ipswich are well known for controlling the ball within the opposition half of the field, meaning Garbutt’s low passing success rate puts the team at risk of being caught with too many players forward and leaves them open to the counter attacks if on occasion he concedes possession high up the pitch.
Whilst his parent club Everton will also be looking for the 26 year-old to improve his ability when on the ball, with Marco Silva’s side playing a possession based style of football that favours attacks down the wings, meaning that Garbutt would spend a lot of time with the ball at his feet if he were to break into the first team upon his return.
Continuing to look on from Everton’s perspective, they will be pleased to see Garbutt performing well at Portman Road, with the 26 year-old potentially having the opportunity to deputise for Lucas Digne next season, with Everton stalwart Leighton Baines likely to leave the club at the end of the current season, as the 34 year-old only has one year left on his contract.