Ellis Simms to return to Sunderland? The impact of Frank Lampard's Everton sacking assessed
As Sunderland look to add another striker to their squad ahead of the January 31 deadline, what impact will Everton’s sacking of Frank Lampard have on the possible return of Ellis Simms. James Copley assesses the situation.
Frank Lampard was sacked by Everton’s hierarchy on Monday with The Toffees rooted to the bottom of the top-flight and the club at risk of exiting the Premier League for the first time ever.
Majority owner Farhad Moshiri has pumped millions into the club to little success with Bill Kenwright also still kicking around the place. Denise Barrett-Baxendale is a director alongside Grant Ingles with club legend Graeme Sharp in a non-executive role leaving Everton fans at a loss as to who is calling the shots.
Despite his 94 per cent stake in the club Moshiri claimed over the weekend that the decision surrounding Lampard's future after the defeat to West Ham wasn’t his… well, whose was it, then?
You have to think that this type of chaos at boardroom level does not bode well for Ellis Simms and his future for the rest of the season, with the club now set to shift its focus to finding a new manager, meaning the player’s situation could get lost amidst the mess at Goodison Park.
Everton needs to move fast to install a new head coach, with time ticking for all parties to secure somebody who can save the club from plummeting to the Championship with the financial impact that would undoubtedly follow regardless of parachute payments. Just look at Sunderland back in 2017.
Even if a new man is appointed swiftly, he will need to assess his squad upon taking the job. Meanwhile, exits may not be sanctioned whilst Lampard’s predecessor has not yet been installed. There are now only seven days left of the window.
With Ross Stewart currently Sunderland’s only first-team striking option, Tony Mowbray has been clear that the Wearsiders cannot afford to wait for Simms on the off chance that Everton will sanction his return.
There’s no doubt that another stint at the Stadium of Light is the best option for Simms as he cannot play for another club other than Sunderland or Everton this season. In any case, the striker was developing well with Mowbray. He was learning his craft and improving.
At just 21 years old, Simms is by no means a complete player and is currently slightly below the levels required to excel in the Premier League. That was evidenced by Lampard opting to utilise Simms for a little over 15 minutes during two substitute appearances.
Another six months playing in the Championship could provide Simms with a superb platform to potentially make waves at Everton next season. However, it is unlikely Everton will take this sort of long-term view given their current plight.
Surely bagging just one of these mooted targets would signal Simms’ return to Wearside. It would make the most sense but then again, Everton are a club where sense is not currently prevailing.