Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has predicted that Everton will loan Ellis Simms out to the Championship this summer with multiple clubs keen.
The 21-year-old turned heads with his impressive form after joining the Scottish club for the second half of last season – seven goals in 21 games – and has proven his quality in the EFL previously – scoring 10 times as he helped Blackpool win promotion via the League One play-offs in 2020/21.
Simms is back at parent club Everton following the end of his spell north of the border and Neilson has revealed he would love to bring him back to Tynecastle but is resigned to losing out to Championship interest.
Speaking on the Scarves Around the Funnel podcast, the Hearts boss predicted that he would be joining a second tier club on loan amid significant interest.
He said: “I’d love to get him back and we’re trying to get him back, but if I’m being brutally honest, I don’t think we’ll get him back.
“There’s a lot of Championship teams in England that have contacted me asking about him. Obviously, I’ve said he’s been terrible!
“There’s a lot of teams that have been watching him and want to take him, so that’s where we are at the moment.
“We bring these guys in, give them a platform and try to progress them. Then if they do well, they move on again.
“We’d love to do it but I just don’t see it happening.
“I know we have (European football) but what they have is finances. We just made a small contribution to his wage.
“If he goes to the Championship, someone can pay a much larger contribution or all of his salary. That’s what I can see happening.”
Simms remained at Everton last summer due to a groin injury but his strong showing for Hearts has indicated to any clubs interested that he’s back at full throttle now.
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There should be no shortage of Championship interest in Simms this summer and Neilson has revealed that there are already clubs in pursuit.
He was excellent while on loan at Hearts and a key part of Blackpool’s successful League One promotion push in 2020/21 so a season-long loan to the English second tier looks the sensible next step.
The likes of Cameron Archer and Keinan Davis thrived in the Championship last term and there will be plenty of clubs hopeful that Simms can have that sort of impact for them.
You wouldn’t bet against him doing that, either, with the 21-year-old likely hungry to show Frank Lampard that he’s ready for a chance in the Toffees senior squad soon.