A year ago today and Everton’s talented young striker Ellis Simms was being linked with a potential move away from Goodison Park.
The Sun was reporting that big clubs in Europe such as Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, Monaco and Lyon were all keen on trying to lure Simms away from Everton in the summer, as he was yet to sign a professional deal at Finch Farm.
The teams in question had every reason to be interested.
Simms was a goal-machine with the Everton youth-teams last term. He ended up scoring 46 goals in all competitions and it was no surprise that the Toffees tied him down to a first professional deal in May.
However, despite fans calling for Simms to get a chance in the Everton first-team, it appears he is some way off. David Unsworth, the under-23 boss, confirmed as much to the Everton website in February.
“People see Ellis Simms scored two goals and expect him to be in our first-team. It’s a long way off but it’s not something he can’t do.”
But Everton will clearly need to give Simms hope of a first-team chance soon. It is clear that there are envious eyes across the continent who see Simms as a potential recruit for their own needs.
Everton will be desperate not to lose a player who has scored nine goals in 19 games for the under-23s this season and scored goals for fun in the under-18s last season.
But with the illusion of a better pathway to first-team football on the continent, Simms might just start to wonder if he should consider a future away from Everton.