Everton striker Ellis Simms declared his hunger to “show the manager what I can do” and compete for a First-Team place after signing a new three-year contract with the Club until the end of June 2024.
The 20-year-old revealed he has struck up a strong relationship with boss Rafa Benitez and how he takes inspiration from the progress of fellow Blues forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Simms has consistently hit the back of the net since joining Everton aged 16, scoring 52 goals in 71 league appearances for the Toffees’ Under-18 and Under-23 sides.
He enjoyed a successful loan spell at Blackpool in League One last season and played an instrumental role in their promotion to the Championship via the play-offs. After moving to the Seasiders in January, Simms netted 10 times in 19 starts.
The attacker says the experience of performing at senior level has further stoked his determination to make the step up to First-Team football for Everton.
“Everton is a massive club and I love it here,” Simms told evertontv.
“From Under-16s level to now, the Club has helped me grow as a person and as a player.
“The support the Club has given me has been fantastic and I’m very grateful to sign this new deal.
“Last season at Blackpool I learned a lot in a short space of time by coming up against different styles of play. It’s helped me become a better player.
“It gave me that taste of playing men’s football and now I am eager and ready to kick on and play at the highest level I can.”
Simms was denied the chance to play in Blackpool’s League One play-off final after sustaining a groin injury on the eve of the Wembley showpiece.
After returning to training at Everton in September, Simms then hurt his ankle but says he is now fully recovered and is “feeling great”.
Manager Benitez has praised the striker’s attitude, application and goalscoring instinct – and Simms explained how he is savouring the chance to work with the experienced Blues boss.
“It’s been great,” he said. “I get along with him well. He’s a very warm man and you can speak to him about everything.
“I’m just grateful to work with him and hopefully I can continue to build that relationship and show him what I can do.
“I’m sure If I keep training well and working hard, then I’ll get an opportunity.”
On the prospect of making a first senior Everton appearance at Goodison Park, Simms added: “I’ve played there without fans but, with the crowd, I think it would just be a moment I would never forget.
“The support is unreal and I’m just waiting for that day.”
Simms outlined how he has paid close attention to the career trajectory of current Everton number nine Calvert-Lewin.
Calvert-Lewin progressed from the Under-23 side to become a regular scorer in the Toffees’ First Team – and Simms says he aims to seize every opportunity to learn from the England striker.
“Dom gives me tips [in training] and every little detail he passes on can help me and I can use it in my game, too,” he said.
“He’s a good figure to look up to because he’s been in my position and made the step up, so I don’t see why I can’t do that as well.
“If I keep working hard and keep improving, hopefully that will happen.”