Ellis Simms reveals Hearts gratitude and his future hopes as he vows to help Liam Boyce break 30 year record


Ellis Simms’ Premier League debut came right out of the blue as he went up against Silva.

But it’s in maroon that the young forward hopes he can strike gold by helping Hearts to silverware.

Simms is loving life at the Jambos after making the loan switch to Tynecastle just a month after being thrown in for an Everton debut of his dreams at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.

The frontman was up against Brazil legend Thiago Silva, Germany powerhouse Antonio Rudiger and Spain stalwart César Azpilicueta – a backline with a combined 189 caps for their countries – and it’s easy to see why Simms won’t ever forget his first taste of the Premier League .

Yet five weeks on from that unexpected landing in the big time he was heading north, on loan to Hearts.

From scrapping with Silva to mixing it in maroon in the space of just over a month. Some young stars might turn their nose up at Scottish football after having had the taste of Premier League glamour.

Not Simms though. The Englishman is adamant that it’s in Gorgie that he can really take his game on to the next level – while also helping Hearts reach theirs.

Simms has struck a thriving partnership with Liam Boyce in attack which not only has the Jambos coasting towards a third spot finish and a return to Europe but also has them 90 minutes away from a Scottish Cup Final.

Boyce’s experience is helping Simms become a better footballer.

And in return the 21-year-old is adamant he can help Boyce become the first Hearts player since John Robertson 30 years ago to smash the 20-goal barrier in one season.

simms told RecordSport : “I’ve loved every minute of it. Coming on loan is about playing and that’s what I’ve managed. I’ve four goals from 11 games and hopefully there’s more to come.

“It’s about developing as a player and this is perfect.

“Making my Everton debut in December was special even though I was thrown in at the last minute. I traveled down with the squad and I knew we had a few injuries and covid absentees. But a few hours before the game another player tested positive.

“We barely had any attackers and when the manager read the team out in the dressing room there I was!

“I’d been waiting for that moment for a long time and I was absolutely thrilled. I just tried to embrace the moment.

“It was a difficult game. I was up against Rudiger, Azpilicueta, and Thiago Silva. They have some daft number of international appearances between them. So it was always going to be tough.

“But I did okay and we got a good result, 1-1. It was a great feeling.

“I knew myself I needed regular top team action though and when this loan offer came in it was pretty much a no brainer.

“Playing besides Liam Boyce can only make me a better player.

“We complement each other well. I like to run in behind and stretch the game and it frees up space for Boycey to get on the ball and do his thing on him.

“I know he’s good on the ball, he can find a pass and his shooting is so good.

“I’d definitely fancy him to hit that 20 mark that people talk about. He’s a good finisher and he gets into good positions. He’s a very intelligent footballer.

“Boycey was scoring for fun before I came and maybe they’ve not been flowing quite as freely in recent weeks but he has found himself in a deeper role.

“He brings other aspects to the game and it’s not always about the goals because he’s providing assists and passes which are crucial.

“I can only learn good things from him. He’s older than me, has plenty of international experience with Northern Ireland, has been around the game and he’s always giving little tips about movements and some defensive stuff as well.

“He’s a massively important character at the club.”




Simms has taken no time to win over the Gorgie faithful with his powerful running and impressive link-up play.

With two years left to run on his Toffees contract there’s no summer sweat over his future. But Hearts fan forums are already jam-packed with supporters wanting him back at Tynecastle next season.

Simms, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Blackpool, said: “I’m ambitious like any footballer but at the minute I’m just focusing on this season. In football things happen so quickly.

“It’s something to consider once the season is finished.

“We have a huge month ahead at Hearts. If we finish third and do well in the cup then there’s Europe as a reward which would be massive for Hearts.

“The lads are desperate to play in Europe. That’s what every footballer dreams of.

“It would be a great achievement especially after the club were in the Championship only a year ago.

“The manager sets little targets, every game becomes the most important.

“If we don’t perform then everyone is disappointed because the standards are so high. The lads are all winners and hopefully with that mentality we can produce something special in the next couple of months.”




www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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