Everton prospect Ellis Simms was called into Carlo Ancelotti’s first-team squad for the first time yesterday. The 19-year-old was an unused substitute as the Toffees beat Sheffield United 1-0.
Although the teenager didn’t make it off the bench it would seem there is a cause for supporters to be excited.
Under-23 coach David Unsworth knows all about making the grade at Goodison Park. He played 304 times for Everton and was blown away by Simms back in February.
After Simms scored a late winner for the under-23s against Watford, Unsworth was quick to lavish the praise.
He told the club’s official website: “I am not going to talk about Ellis’s goal, I am going to talk about his performance.
“He was absolutely superb. His hold-up play, his threat, his power and his link-up play were exceptional.”
Ancelotti has shown during his short time at the club that he is willing to place his trust in youth.
Jarrad Branthwaite and Anthony Gordon have featured since the restart and could earn more chances next season.
Everton have a proud history with producing their own talent and perhaps Simms will be the next off the conveyor belt.
The Oldham-born youngster scored 32 goals for the under-18s during the 2018/19 campaign, boasting a natural goalscoring instinct.
He netted eight times for the under-23 ranks during 2019/20 and has the potential to make the grade at Goodison Park.
Simms is quick, powerful and knows where the back of the net is. Indeed, the decision to keep nine substitutes being named might even help the young star earn opportunities.
Everton can’t finish in the top half this season despite yesterday’s victory.
Ancelotti must hope to do better next season and Simms might be one of the youngsters he calls upon during 2020/21.