A THRILLED Karl Robinson has admitted new signing Luke Garbutt should have been out of Oxford United’s league.

The left back flew out to the club’s pre-season training camp in Ireland yesterday after agreeing to a season-long loan deal.

Capped 11 times by England’s under-21 side, Garbutt still has two years left to run on his long-term deal at Goodison Park.

The 25-year-old’s previous two loan spells were in the Sky Bet Championship, at Fulham and Wigan Athletic, so United regard his arrival as a coup.

Robinson was still pinching himself yesterday and hailed Garbutt’s role in getting the deal over the line.

Speaking from the training camp, the U’s boss said: “It’s certainly one that’s (normally) out of the realms of a League One team and we’re quite baffled by the fact we’ve got an opportunity to work with him.

“Hopefully it will allow him to blossom into what he needs to be.

“We took him to the training ground and that was a massive thing as well.

“He believed in what we are trying to achieve and that we will aid his development.

“He had to sacrifice some things, which was amazing.”

While Robinson would not go into details about the concessions made, he made it clear Garbutt had gone well beyond meeting United halfway.

“He probably went 80 per cent of the way, to be honest,” Robinson said.

“I can assure you he’s done one or two things to make this happen that I don’t think many footballers would have done.”

Garbutt is the second defender to join in the past week, with right back Tony McMahon joining up with the squad yesterday.

Barring any departures, the defensive unit is now complete, with Josh Ruffels seen as cover at left back.

It appears to officially end any chance of a return for Ricardinho, with Robinson confirming the Brazilian had turned down United’s contract offer.

He said: “We offered Ricardinho a contract and he said no to it – I’m not going to wait around.”

He added: “There are so many different permutations, but fundamentally it’s got to work financially and work for us like a jigsaw.

“We’re putting these pieces together and slowly but surely it’s building a perfect picture.”