Everton have a number of expiring contracts coming up this summer in the youth setup, but none likely more important than youngster Ellis Simms. The club have now acted to ensure that there will be no other clubs sniffing around the young striker by handing the soon to be 21-year-old a brand new three-year contract.
Simms is one of the brightest talents to have come out of the Academy in years, and has been plundering goals at will for the youth teams, with a combined 58 goals for the Under-18s and Under-23s over his tenure with the Blues. He sparkled out on loan with Blackpool last season too in League One, fueling their promotion push with ten goals and two assists in 24 games.
The hulking #9 has been plagued by groin then ankle injuries that has kept him out of action this season, but Simms already has been training with the senior squad and also has a couple of bench appearances already. He looks on the verge of making his senior debut and the prospect of that excites the youngster.
“Everton is a massive club and I love it here. From Under-16s level to now, the Club has helped me grow as a person and as a player. The support the Club has given me has been fantastic and I’m very grateful to sign this new deal.
“Last season at Blackpool I learned a lot in a short space of time by coming up against different styles of play. It’s helped me become a better player. It gave me that taste of playing men’s football and now I am eager and ready to kick on and play at the highest level I can.”
First team manager Rafa Benitez is a fan of the striker, and Simms is looking forward to working with the veteran boss.
“It’s been great. I get along with him well. He’s a very warm man and you can speak to him about everything. I’m just grateful to work with him and hopefully I can continue to build that relationship and show him what I can do.
“I’m sure If I keep training well and working hard, then I’ll get an opportunity.”
Simms is now fit and raring to go, and driven by the possibility of making his Everton debut at Goodison Park soon.
“I’ve played there without fans but, with the crowd, I think it would just be a moment I would never forget. The support is unreal and I’m just waiting for that day.”
With Simms signed, Director of Football Marcel Brands can now turn his focus to another handful of key players in the Under-23 setup who also have expiring contracts - Lewis Dobbin, Rhys Hughes, Einar Iversen, Kyle John, Reece Welch, Joe Anderson, Harry Tyrer and Zan-Luk Leban among them.