Neil Critchley has confirmed to The Blackpool Gazette that Blackpool are monitoring Ellis Simms with a view to re-signing the Everton striker for their return to the Championship.
Simms spent the second half of last season on loan at Bloomfield Road and helped secure their promotion. He was unable to feature in the League One play-off final, though, due to a groin injury picked up in the final training session, which Critchley adds required surgery.
But despite Simms being set to miss the start of the new campaign, Critchley hopes Everton will consider another loan. The Liverpool Echo note Toffees chiefs are yet to make a decision on the 20-year-old’s immediate future, with a first-team role possible.
Carlo Ancelotti was to run the rule over Simms in Everton’s pre-season, per The Athletic. But that now falls to Rafa Benitez, and to show the striker his future is at Goodison Park. He is in the final year of his contract, but has been offered new terms, per the Liverpool Echo.
Simms putting pen to paper may also help Critchley strike another loan deal for Blackpool to sign the Everton prospect.
“Ellis has had an operation, so he will be out for a lengthy period of time,” Critchley said. “When the players aren’t yours, the decision isn’t yours either because you’re governed by what other clubs think about them and decide. It’s never in your hands.
“Elliot [Embleton] is back at Sunderland and Jordan [Gabriel] is back at Nottingham Forest and I’m sure they will be trying to impress in pre-season to try and get in their team. We’ll keep an eye on them, that’s for certain.”
Blackpool return a good move for Everton and Simms
A return to Blackpool would be good for Everton and Simms if Benitez will not offer a first-team role. The forward performed remarkably well in League One with Critchley’s Seasiders and would continue developing.
Simms fired Blackpool into the play-offs with eight goals in 21 regular season matches. He then added another two against Oxford United, to set the Seasiders up for a Wembley showdown with Lincoln City.
Injury cruelly denied the striker his day under the arch, but was clearly on the right tracks in tangerine. Critchley also lauded Simms as a ‘real handful’, via The Blackpool Gazette, in February. Praising his ability to cause defenders problems through his physical presence.