Sunderland AFC news: Ellis Simms wants return but Everton will only sanction transfer when this happens
Ellis Simms’ situation at Everton remains one of the big remaining questions with regards to Sunderland’s transfer window.
Simms netted seven times for the Black Cats before being recalled by the Toffees earlier this month. While back at his parent club, Simms has made two cameo appearances in the league (both coming while The Toffees were losing) with the striker yet to score.
Since the striker’s recall to Goodison Park, Frank Lampard has been sacked as head coach and is set to be replaced by former Burnley manager Sean Dyche. Here, we take Sunderland fans through the key factors at play, our understanding of the situation and what Tony Mowbray has said:
What has Sunderland head coach Tony Mowbray recently said about Ellis Simms?
Speaking before Sunderland’s trip to Fulham in the FA Cup fourth round, Mowbray didn’t sound too confident regardings Simms’ return to Wearside owing to the chaotic situation on Merseyside currently.
Mowbray said: “We will hopefully get one or potentially two in to help Ross.
"With what's going on at Everton, it looks pretty unlikely that Ellis will be coming back - they haven't got a manager and if I was going in there, I'd want to see all the players on the grass and see if they might be able to help. That looks like a really tight thing to rely on, because he might well not come back.”
It is worth noting that since Mowbray last spoke to the media, Sunderland have secured the services of highly-rated Leeds United attacker Joe Gelhardt on loan for the remainder of the season.
The former Wigan Athletic man and current England youth international can play up front as a striker and in behind a number nine should circumstances dictate.
It goes without saying that Gelhard’s arrival lessens the need to re-sign Simms as first priority, although it is thought that the Black Cats were eyeing multiple additions in the striker position this window.
What is The Echo’s understanding of Ellis Simms’ situation at Everton and how likely is he to return to Sunderland?
The Echo understands from sources close to the coalface in Merseyside that Simms will be allowed to leave the club during the January transfer window should the club sign reinforcements in forward areas.
It is also understood that Simms is keen to return to Wearside during the window and that his representatives have been informed of the situation at Goodison Park.
It has been well-documented that Everton are in the market for reinforcements in forward areas and would ideally like to bring in at least two players before any deal for Simms to leave was sanctioned.
Everton would prefer another loan move, offering them the chance to assess the player again in the summer should a deal happen. Another interesting caveat is that Simms can only play for Everton or Sunderland this season owing to FIFA rules.
And while it appears that any return to Sunderland will heavily depend on the Merseyside club’s success in the window, there is also Sean Dyche to consider. It is currently unclear what plans he will have for Simms following his expected appointment as Lampard’s successor.