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Playmaker's EFL 72: #61-#51

#58: Ellis Simms (Coventry City)

2024/04/10 19:20
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The Playmaker 72 committee are always on the lookout for late 'bolters' to storm into our annual countdown - and Coventry City's Ellis Simms has done a fine job of barging his way in this season!

Signed from Everton for a reported €8m last July, Simms had shown plenty of promise during loan spells away from Goodison Park at Blackpool (2020/21), Hearts (2021/22) and Sunderland (2022/23) - but he had massive boots to fill at the CBS Arena.

Identified by Sky Blues manager Mark Robins as the man to replace last season's Playmaker 72 winner Viktor Gyokeres, Simms initially needed time to settle at Coventry - added pressure perhaps heaped on his shoulders by his Swedish predecessor immediately tearing up the Portuguese top flight.

Simms, on the other hand, took a while to train his sights and the striker only scored two goals between the start of the season and Christmas...both of those coming in a 3-1 win at QPR in September!

However, having settled following his permanent move from Merseyside, Simms burst into life in 2024 - and he now can't stop scoring!

A whopping 15 goals in 21 games since the turn of the year have propelled Simms into our '72' line-up, the powerful forward banging in hat-tricks against Maidstone and Rotherham and causing havoc as the spearhead of a potent Coventry quartet that also features Haji Wright, Callum O'Hare and Kasey Palmer.  

Although he is a threat from set-pieces, Simms' real strength this season has been from sniffing out chances in open play - with 11 of his 13 Championship goals this season coming from 'live' situations, and all but one from inside the box.

The only Championship player to score a perfect league hat-trick (right foot, left foot, header) this season, Simms certainly has the attributes to worry defences - and his manager Robins is convinced there is even more to come.

“He’ll be awesome, absolutely awesome...he has got incredible pace and incredible strength, and when he realises that he’s going to be some player,” said Robins last month. 

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LH
2024-04-10 20h04m by lhalliday_bart
As a football fan, I am so excited for the next batch of standouts in the 'Playmaker 72'! It's always a tough decision to rank players from different divisions, but I can't wait to see who makes the cut.
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