By Goodison News speaking to Kevin Campbell

26th Mar, 2023 | 6:40pm

We’re delighted to welcome former Everton striker Kevin Campbell as our exclusive columnist. Each week the former Toffees captain will be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Goodison Park…

Ellis Simms “deserves a chance” to lead the line for Everton after his first goal for the club at Chelsea, according to Kevin Campbell.

The 22-year-old rescued a valuable point at Stamford Bridge with his 89th-minute equaliser on 18 March, stepping up in the absence of the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Sky Sports pundit Campbell had been impressed by the former Sunderland loanee’s performance in a surprise start at Liverpool on 13 February, and after the academy product found the net in dramatic fashion wants to see him given a proper chance to cement his place.

Speaking exclusively to Goodison News he explained he wanted Simms to lead the line, saying: “I’m hoping he can. I’ve been trying to talk him up.

“I think he’s a good young player who deserves a chance.

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“Am I surprised by the goal? No I’m not. He’s hungry. 

“And I think he’s proven that he can help.”

Everton have to be careful not to expect too much too soon from Simms because the pressure of keeping this club in the Premier League has the potential to be overwhelming.

But he has looked like he was ready to make the step up to being a regular part of the first team over the past two seasons on loan at the Stadium of Light and with Hearts in the SPFL.

He is young but he’s not a teenager so having broken his duck at Chelsea he has the physical stature to provide the best alternative to Calvert-Lewin over the coming weeks, with Neal Maupay’s time at Goodison Park proving anything but fruitful.

Demarai Gray had helped kickstart the attack with his trickery in recent weeks but he might be the man to lose out, although as the club’s top scorer this year he should still not be forgotten even if Simms does come into the starting XI.