Everton have recalled striker Ellis Simms from Sunderland after only five months of his initial season-long loan with the Championship club.
Simms scored seven goals in 17 appearances, forcing his parent club to recall him.
Sporting director Kristjaan Speakman said: “Ellis’ return to Merseyside is a real disappointment for us due to the shared progress that he and the club have made this season.
“Unfortunately, this is the nature of loans when they are successful. It is a testament to Tony (Mowbray) and the wider staff – and of course to Ellis – that Everton feel he is ready to continue his immediate development in a Premier League environment.
“We all wish Ellis the very best and thank him for the part he has played in our continual progression as a football club.”
Everton are looking for a striker in the January winter window. There were rumours they would move for Coventry City’s Viktor Gyokeres, but manager Mark Robins shut the transfer down.
There were other links with Matheus Cunha before he joined Wolverhampton Wanderers.
With Dominic Calvert-Lewin struggling to stay fit, manager Frank Lampard pushed the club to sign a striker. They took Neal Maupay from Brighton & Hove Albion last summer.
The French striker has not kicked on in new surroundings, with only one goal in the Premier League. He has missed two big chances and has a 7% conversion rate.
Simms will return to Goodison Park to compete with the pair for a starting spot.
At the moment, it is unclear if Everton will push for another striker after Simms. They are struggling financially, and additions will be a tough ask.
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