Carlo Ancelotti must continue to track Everton prospect Ellis Simms while out on loan after securing a January transfer to League One side Blackpool until the end of the season.
Everton have announced that Simms has moved to Bloomfield Road on a half-season deal.
The 20-year-old has been a regular of David Unsworth’s Under 23s side this season and has scored eight goals in 12 Premier League 2 appearances, while beginning to establish a path for himself into Ancelotti’s senior fold.
Simms began regularly training with the Everton first-team earlier in the 2020/21 campaign and had joined in on sessions over the past few weeks, leading to his selection in two senior matchday squads to add to his inclusions in the final two matches of the previous term.
Simms was an unused substitute at Newcastle United last November and again for this month’s FA Cup third round win over Championship side Rotherham United. But with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Cenk Tosun and Richarlison ahead in the pecking order, has been sent out on loan.
Simms is yet to play a single minute of senior football in his career but has proven to be a prolific youth forward with 41 goals in 44 U18s appearances with Everton before netting 17 in 36 outings with the U23s.
The Oldham-born attacker could make his Blackpool debut this Saturday in the FA Cup when Neil Critchley’s side visit Premier League Brighton & Hove Albion.
Ancelotti must continue to monitor Simms’ progress now that he has departed Merseyside for the Seasiders, having clearly caught the Italian’s attention in recent months to edge ever close to earning his Toffees debut.
Simms’ route to the first-team at Goodison Park is blocked right now, with Calvert-Lewin enjoying the best season of his career to date, netting 14 goals in all competitions, while Richarlison is a player whom Ancelotti feels is a one-of-a-kind type in the dressing room.
Tosun would appear the weakest link and Simms’ best option to eventually displace, having scored just once all season and is yet to start a league game, but the Turkey international has seemingly been given a new lease of life this month.
Reports claim Everton may shelve plans to sell Tosun in January if AFC Bournemouth’s Joshua King does not lower his wage demands from £120k-p/w, as the Norwegian would only be a squad player on the blue side of Stanley Park.
If that happens, or they sign an alternative target, it could spark a return to the U23s or a second loan spell for Simms next season, who former Everton goalkeeper Nigel Martyn believes is a “natural goalscorer” and has “all the attributes” needed for the centre-forward role.
Those attributes would not have been refined much further under Unsworth with the level of talent in the PL2 nothing compared to senior action, making a half-season spell in the Football League increasingly important for Simms to prove himself to Everton ahead of the summer market.