Everton disrupt striker deal as Lampard adds firepower, but forward additions won’t end there

Everton have recalled 21-year-old striker Ellis Simms five months into a season-long loan at Sunderland, while Frank Lampard is still looking to sign more attacking reinforcements in January. 

Simms is in good goal-scoring form at the moment, but with the Toffees currently in a dire league position, there is now huge pressure on him to perform in the Premier League.

Rumours of other signings have been doing the rounds, but there is a chance that Everton could have to rely upon Simms to lead the line in their next few games.

As stated by Sunderland’s official website, Everton recalled Simms from his loan on Tyneside yesterday and the player should be available for their January 3 clash against Brighton at Goodison Park.

The Black Cats’ sporting director Kristjaan Speakman revealed the news today, saying: “Ellis’ return to Merseyside is a real disappointment for us due to the shared progress that he and the club have made this season.

“Unfortunately, this is the nature of loans when they are successful, but it is a testament to (manager) Tony (Mowbray) and the wider staff – and of course to Ellis – that Everton feel he is ready to continue his immediate development in a Premier League environment.”

The Blues are currently in 16th place in the Premier League table, after scoring just one Premier League goal in their last four win-less matches, leading to growing speculation that Lampard’s time on Merseyside may be numbered.

After scoring the third-fewest goals in the division overall, their need for goal-scoring options is clear to see and the fact they have been forced to turn to Simms has an air of desperation.

Questions over whether Simms is ready for the Premier League

However, Simms does have a fantastic record and was proving to be very popular at the Stadium of Light.

In 149 appearances across senior and youth levels, Simms has scored an impressive 82 goals and created nine, giving him an outstanding average of 0.61 goal contributions per game.

He also made his England under-20s debut in November 2020, so there is no doubt he has a lot of potential.

This season, on loan at Sunderland, Simms made 17 appearances in the Championship, scoring seven goals and assisting twice as he helped his side to reach a playoff spot.

This is his best form in his senior career to date, but also enjoyed a loan spell at Hearts last season.

In Scotland, he netted seven times in 21 outings, including a fantastic strike against bitter rivals Hibernian in the Scottish Cup semi-final which will be remembered by Edinburgh’s football fans for years to come.

However, there are still serious doubts over whether Simms is ready for the Premier League and indeed, for a relegation battle. In that regard, Lampard is still looking to add more attacking recruits to his ranks.

Lampard desperate for attacking options in January

While Lampard made some smart summer additions in Conor Coady, James Tarkowski, Idrissa Gueye and Amadou Onana, new striker Neal Maupay has failed to find his feet on Merseyside, scoring just one goal in 11 league appearances.

Everton’s number nine Dominic Calvert-Lewin has also been saddled with injury problems again this season, hence the need for more options.

As reported by TEAMtalk, Everton have been looking into signing two Championship forwards in the winter window: Blackburn’s Ben Brereton Diaz, who they have been chasing since the summer and Coventry striker Viktor Gyokeres. 

However, in a blow to the Toffees, Coventry manager Mark Robins has now categorically ruled out a January departure for Gyokeres.

Speaking to CoventryLive, he said: “Viktor is going nowhere. I can tell you now he is going nowhere in January. Absolutely no chance. I’ve spoken to Vik.”

Brereton Diaz, on the other hand, has a better chance of moving to Goodison Park this winter. But, with him featuring heavily on the left wing rather than as a central striker this season, questions have been raised over whether the Chile international is the right man for the job.

Everton have also reignited their summer pursuit of Ajax attacking midfielder Mohammed Kudus.

He would represent a fantastic signing, but with Manchester United, Chelsea and PSG also vying for his signature, it may prove impossible to get a deal over the line.

While Simms could provide an added goal threat for the Toffees, what is for sure is that if Everton don’t sign more top-quality attacking players this winter, they are set for a relegation battle once again.

READ MORE: Frank Lampard ‘pushing hard’ for priority Everton signing amid Ajax and Championship rumours