Everton’s stance on Ellis Simms and Nathan Broadhead with Sunderland interested in both forwards

Sunderland are closing in on a loan move for Everton forward Ellis Simms – but what is his situation at Goodison Park?

The 21-year-old has been loaned out to Blackpool and SPL side Hearts over the last two seasons, gaining a good reputation at both clubs.

To find out more, we caught up with Toffees reporter Adam Jones at the Liverpool Echo to get his thoughts:

Was the plan always for Simms to leave on loan this season?

Ellis Simms playing for Everton Under-23s (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

AJ: “It was always going to be an interesting situation for Simms this summer. On the one hand, you could certainly see the argument that there might be opportunities for him to prove himself at Everton, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Salomon Rondon ahead of him in the pecking order.

“Ask a lot of Evertonians and they'd probably prefer the academy graduate over the latter of those two options, but that seemingly hasn't been the case for Lampard and his staff. A loan move was always going to be the best way for him to pick up regular football.”

How is Simms viewed at Everton?

AJ: “Simms' rise through the academy levels at Everton was watched intently by pundits and fans alike. He was a goalscoring machine at under-18 level and managed to carry that on very effectively when he made his way into the under-23 setup too.

“Because of those goalscoring exploits, and his performances in loan spells spanning previous seasons as well, he's been a highly-rated talent for some time within Finch Farm - and with supporters too.

“The striker signed a new three-year contract with the club last summer with the hope that he could break into the first team, although he hasn't managed that yet. Depending on the club's other transfer business this window, it will be interesting to see if those prospects still stand in another 12 months.”

What's his best position and what are his biggest strengths?

AJ: “If you're playing Ellis Simms, you've got to use him through the middle as a central striker. There's no two ways about it.

“He's got the physical attributes to be able to play in that position by himself, but also the technical ability to be able to hold the ball up very well and bring others into the play with clever passes in and around the penalty area.

“And, the good news is that he's a very natural finisher too.”

Do you think he'll be a good fit for Sunderland?

AJ: “The Championship seems like a natural fit for Simms right now. He's already impressed in League One and in the SPL during his time in senior football.

“His attributes seem very well suited to the high-octane nature of a Championship season and, with Sunderland needing an influx of goals following their return to this level, it could be a great match.”

Finally, what’s your understanding of Nathan Broadhead’s situation?

AJ: “With only a year left on his current contract at Goodison Park and having not played any part in Everton's pre-season, it seems like Broadhead's future lies elsewhere right now.

“Everton will be looking for more additions to their front line over the course of the transfer window which could limit opportunities even further, too. Perhaps it's just a case of waiting to see whether Broadhead's move is a loan or is permanent.”