“I’m not sure what the future holds,” Ellis Simms told Sky Sports after Blackpool won the League One play-off final on Sunday.
“Who knows what the future will bring?”
Simms will be a man in demand this summer.
Despite missing the final through injury – cruelly suffered practising penalties in training on the eve of the game at Wembley – his 10 goals in 22 appearances since joining Blackpool on-loan in January have quickly proven his credentials at senior level.
The 20-year-old, who joined Everton after leaving Manchester City at 16, scored prolifically at youth level before notching 18 times in 31 appearances over two seasons for David Unsworth and the under-23s.
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But his continued progression at Blackpool has given Everton – and director of football Marcel Brands – a decision to make with only 12 months remaining on his contract.
Everton have had mixed fortune while sending prospects out on loan under Brands but Critchley trusts Simms and would be able to offer him further game-time in the Championship next term.
Simms’ admission suggests he is open to a further move yet Everton would need to agree a new deal to avoid the risk of losing the prospect on a free transfer.
But his televised comments did not reflect someone desperate to return to his parent club. And why should he be?
There will be ample interest in his services and Everton could even field permanent interest after his goals and performances in League One.
Yet the Oldham-born forward has spoken publicly of his admiration for Blackpool manager Neil Critchley and would surely be keen to continue with the Seasiders in the Championship after playing such a vital role in their promotion push.
Everton are looking to strengthen their attacking options this summer and despite uncertainty around the future of Moise Kean, it seems unlikely Carlo Ancelotti – who favoured experience last term – would hand a first-team role to Simms at this stage.
Blackpool lost just three of 28 League One games following the arrival of Simms in January and another season at Bloomfield Road would be mutually beneficial for both Simms and Everton.
Simms formed an exciting partnership with striker Jerry Yates at Blackpool and started 11 of the final 13 games of the campaign before injury struck ahead of Wembley.
A new contract and a loan in the Championship – at Blackpool or beyond – makes perfect sense for player and club.
But who knows what the future will bring?