Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has not ruled out the prospect of young striker Ellis Simms breaking into the first team.
The Toffees were dealt a major blow to their centre-forward options after Ancelotti confirmed that Dominic Calvert-Lewin would be unavailable for the Blues’ trip to Wolves tonight. The 23-year-old is the club’s top scorer in the Premier League and typically leads the line in Ancelotti’s 4-3-3 system.
Turkish international Cenk Tosun stepped up and opened the scoring as he filled in for the England international in Everton’s 2-1 FA Cup win over Rotherham, but he is not the only striker in contention for first team minutes at Goodison Park.
In his most recent press conference, Ancelotti confirmed that Simms could be in line to impact his thinking, with the 20-year-old training with the first team squad. Richarlison is also a major doubt and will undergo a late fitness test ahead of the Wolves clash.
Speaking on the impact of those injuries, Ancelotti said [via Liverpool Echo]: “I was surprised we didn’t win a game without Richarlison, but the last game we did it without him. For the statistics, that was good.
“We suffer when we don’t have some players, but the squad is good. We have to manage the absence. Every team has absences in this period. It is normal.”
Ancelotti was then asked about the possibility of Simms being granted his senior debut in Calvert-Lewin’s absence and replied: “Why not? Ellis Simms is in the squad. He is training with us. The opportunity can happen.”
Read Everton Verdict
Among the substitutes against Rotherham, Simms looks to be a natural backup in the absence of key personnel.
If Ancelotti opts to put faith in him, it could be the perfect chance for the 20-year-old to prove he has what it takes to make it as a mainstay in the Everton squad.