Frank Lampard has potential short-term solution to improve Everton attacking issues ahead of January
Frank Lampard knows what he wants when it comes to his January transfer business.
The Toffees sit just one point and one place above the drop zone. After a sobering 3-0 loss to Bournemouth - as well as a 4-1 loss in the Carabao Cup to the same opponents - Everton’s league position does not make for pretty viewing during the World Cup break.
Unsurprisingly, the Toffees will aim to bolster their attacking options in January in a bid to inject more goals into the team.
While Everton have been praised for defence solidity at times this term, firepower has been at a paucity. The Blues have netted just 11 league goals in 15 games - the joint-second worst total in the top flight.
At least one new forward is Lampard’s priority. Dominic Calvert-Lewin, yet again, has been troubled by injury. He’s managed just six outings so far and another option is needed.
Meanwhile, Neal Maupay has fired just one goal since his move from Brighton & Hove Albion in the summer. And Salomon Rondon did not feature in the past four match-day squads before the World Cup. That’s despite Rondon scoring two goals in as many games for Venezuela before the World Cup.
Indeed, substantial improvements are needed in the final third. Certainly, Lampard, director of football Kevin Thelwell and Everton’s recruitment staff will be identifying targets and compiling dossiers on potential strikers that could be signed.
Yet attackers can come at a premium. And they can take time. Granted, Everton got early business done last January when Vitalii Mykolenko’s arrival from Dynamo Kyiv was announced on New Year’s Day, while Nathan Patterson’s switch from Rangers was confirmed days later.
But Lampard may have to be patient for who he deems the right player to become available. If that is the case then a solution will be required. And last weekend, Lampard was given a reminder of a potential short-term option.
With the Championship campaign returning, Ellis Simms was on target in Sunderland’s 3-0 victory over Millwall. The former England youth international’s career is going in an eye-catching trajectory. A fruitful loan spell in the second half of Blackpool in 2020-21 not only yielded 10 goals in 24 appearances but ended in the Tangerines earning League One promotion.
Then after joining Hearts last January, Simms hit six goals in 21 outings. Now in the second tier of English football, Simms has bagged five times in 13 appearances so far. The 21-year-old was involved in a physical battle against Millwall, providing Sunderland a focal point and relished the challenge.
Now with January approaching, discussions could well be afoot between Everton and the Black Cats about the 21-year-old’s future.
There is an argument that Simms might not be ready for the Premier League and that he needs to continue developing. That is a salient point. And in terms of a loan club, Sunderland is ideal. He’s playing in front of big crowds at the Stadium of Light in a high-pressure scenario. Sunderland is the best place for Simms to continue progressing. But, if Everton have a recall clause installed in his Sunderland contract, they could recall Simms temporarily, at least.
Players are able to represent two teams in one season. So, if Simms was to feature for Everton, he could only again represent Sunderland. Once an additional forward is made, the loan could restart.
Simms has made just one appearance for the Toffees so far. That came in last season’s dogged 0-0 draw away to Chelsea when Everton were depleted because of injury and Covid-19 cases. It was an admirable display from the Simms as he showed resolve and tenacity leading the line for 62 minutes.
This season, Simms has scored against QPR and most recently, Millwall. Both outfits are pushing for promotion.
Tom Cannon has been in prolific form for Everton under-21s and there understandably is clamour for him to be given more of a prominent role after making his Premier League debut at Bournemouth. However, senior experience is something the 19-year-old currently lacks.
Recalling Simms for a brief period could be a potential solution until recruits and made.