Phil Smith has claimed on The Roar podcast that he would like Sunderland to sign Ellis Simms permanently at the end of the season.
Simms was seemingly not first choice for Sunderland over the summer with reports claiming they were pushing very hard to land Nathan Broadhead after he impressed in England’s third tier.
However, Simms has done a decent job for the Black Cats this season, especially when all the pressure has fallen on his shoulders due to Ross Stewart’s injury woes this season and Smith would like to see him join on a permanent basis.
Smith was asked if he thinks Simms could be an option for Sunderland in the longer term and the journalist couldn’t hide his admiration for the striker as he said:
(34:50) “I think possibly, I mean I’d love to think so I really rate him. I think sometimes he suffers from the fact that he’s automatically being compared to Ross Stewart, you know Ross Stewart’s had quite a lot of years to develop his game and get that experience.
Would you like Simms to join permanently?
“People forget how inexperienced Simms is really, this is his first Championship season, you should put him in the same category as a Dennis Cirkin or a Dan Neil in their first Championship season, Ellis Simms’ goal return looks pretty good doesn’t it.”
TIF Thoughts on Simms’ future…
If Sunderland can continue to afford Simms the game time necessary to keep him happy and playing in a team that is playing to his strengths, then he could well look to force through a summer transfer.
However, given his parent club, Everton are indeed struggling for goals this season with just 11 in 15 league games, they may well look to keep him around the first-team picture for a season and see if he can contribute in the Premier League.
Simms is still young in his footballing career so would likely command a decent size transfer fee just for his potential, but after putting in ‘brilliant‘ performances against the likes of Millwall, according to Sky Sports pundit Lee Hendrie, it could well be worth it for the Black Cats.