Everton Under-23s manager David Unsworth has provided an update on the progress and future of Goodison Park academy gem Ellis Simms.
The Toffees coach is confident – indeed he has “no doubt” – that the 19-year-old striker “will get there”, though he remains very much a work in progress.
Simms made it three goals from his last two games by netting a brace for Everton’s U23s in Monday’s Premier League 2 meeting with Derby.
“Ellis is outstanding in one on ones, a really good finisher,” Everton U23s assistant boss John Ebbrell told the club website after the match.
Simms has shown huge progress over the past two seasons, following up a 37-goal campaign for the U18s in 2018-19 with eight in 15 for the U23s last term.
When a youngster is showing so much promise, a club could well consider a loan move, but Unsworth says the club is looking to do with him what they’ve done with Anthony Gordon.
“It’s very similar to what we had with Anthony Gordon last year!” he told the Liverpool Echo. “You probably hear me screaming at Ellis more than any other player in the team.
“It’s just a really hard position to play in, as a striker, particularly off-the-ball.
“With the ball, moving forward, creating opportunities and scoring goals, you put a big tick in the box with Ellis but there’s more to being a Premier League footballer than scoring goals at youth level.
“You’ve got to have that work rate, you’ve got to have that understanding of when to press and when to sit off and help your team, and these are all the finer details we’re putting in Ellis.
“It’s what he needs to play in our first-team. You look how hard Dominic works for our first-team with his work-rate and unselfish runs to help the team, and with Ellis it’s a work in progress.
“He’ll get there but there’s so much more to come. I have no doubt that we’ll get there in the end.”
Simms has shown he’s clearly a cut above at academy level, and for him to be considered for Everton’s first team instead of being sent out on loan shows just how highly he’s thought of at Finch Farm.
There is still work to be done but this is a good thing – he’s already a prolific goalscorer so adding more strings to his bow and becoming a more complete player bodes well for his future at Everton.