Everton loanee Ellis Simms bags fifth goal of the season as the points are shared at Sincil Bank

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Neil Critchley’s Blackpool moved up to fourth place in League One but will be kicking themselves after throwing away a two goal lead against Lincoln City in a heartening comeback led by substitute Anthony Scully.

The final score was 2-2 in the East Midlands with 20-year-old Ellis Simms, on loan from Premier League outfit Everton, opening the scoring after 37 minutes to give the visitors a deserved lead.

Simms joined the Tangerines on loan in January until the end of the campaign, and has tallied five goals and two assists in just 15 appearances so far this season; proving instrumental in his side’s push for promotion.

The striker was rewarded with a professional contract at the Toffees in 2019 after scoring 46 goals in a single season for Everton’s under-18s and subsequently being promoted to the club’s under-23 side.

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Many Blues fans have tipped the youngster to follow in the footsteps of players such as Tom Davies and Jonjoe Kenny to make the leap from Everton’s Halewood academy to England’s top flight.

Before his January move to Bloomfield Road, Simms was the second top goalscorer in Premier League 2’s top division with eight goals – including a brace against Derby County under-23s.

As anticipated, the jump from academy football to the Football League is a huge step to take, but Simms has grasped the opportunity with both hands. There always comes a point where a player has done almost all they can in under-23 football, and is ready for the senior game.

Born in Oldham, Greater Manchester, Simms enjoyed spells at both Blackburn Rovers’ and Manchester City’s academies before picking Everton as a 16-year-old.

It didn’t take him long to get started on his ‘Pool debut – netting a brace after being subbed on in the 70th minute in a 5-0 rout of relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic.

Simms shares striking similarities with Everton number nine Dominic Calvert-Lewin, both standing at 6ft 2 tall and using their vigorous physicality to their advantage.

Blackpool assistant manager Mike Garrity revealed in an exclusive interview with the Liverpool Echo that Everton had personally recommended to the club that they take him on loan for the remainder of the season.

“We spoke to a few people at Everton and he came highly recommended from the club. And I suppose it is the next step on his journey for Ellis, to challenge himself in senior football.”

Garrity also emphasised how important it is for Simms to use his robust athleticism to improve his game, adding that the senior game is poles apart from under-23 football.

“You look at Ellis, his physique and his profile, and he’s a really big boy, so I think when he first came in, I’m not sure how much he understood or realised how to use that physicality in his game, probably because he never had to do it much at u-18s and u-23s.”

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It’s hard to tell how far away the striker is from Premier League football, but a future backup option for Calvert-Lewin at Everton shouldn’t be written off. Carlo Ancelotti’s current second choice striker is Josh King, who has failed to score this season in eight appearances for the Toffees.

An opportunity at his parent club is most definitely a few years away, but Simms is showing all the qualities he needs to make it at the top level. The question, however, is can he display this consistently in the senior game?

Blackpool’s point lifted the Seasiders up to fourth place in League One, but the Play-Off job is far from complete yet with today’s opponents Lincoln still just a point behind in the final Play-Off spot in sixth.

Neil Critchley’s side face Accrington Stanley at home in midweek, aiming for nothing less than an all-important three points as the season draws to a close.

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19 year old Football Journalism student at the University of Derby.

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