The start of the summer transfer window is nearly upon us and there are plenty of Championship clubs that will be looking to strengthen in the coming weeks – with QPR and Sunderland certainly among them.
The R’s have freshly-appointed boss Michael Beale at the helm and will need to back the former Rangers and Aston Villa assistant manager to help him make a strong start to life at Loftus Road as the squad is currently looking a little lacking.
Having finally returned to the Championship after four years in League One, Sunderland need to ensure that their squad has enough quality to establish themselves in the second tier – and that has to be their first target before there can be any talk of Premier League promotion.
Both clubs need to add more quality to their ranks, particularly in the final third.
With Charlie Austin departing and Andre Gray’s loan spell done, Lyndon Dykes is now the R’s only number nine and is currently carrying an injury.
Quiz: Are these 20 Sunderland transfer facts true or false?
His Scottish international teammate Ross Stewart is Sunderland’s only forward with Nathan Broadhead now back at parent club Everton.
That pair will likely play important parts in their respective club’s 2022/23 campaigns but more reinforcements are needed and on the back of Robbie Neilson’s recent comments, Ellis Simms is a player they should be targetting.
The Hearts manager told the Scarves Around the Funnel podcast this week that multiple Championship clubs have asked him about the 21-year-old forward, who impressed while on loan from Everton in the second half of last season, and predicted he will be sent on loan to the English second tier this summer.
Simms’ goal record in senior football is excellent – scoring seven goals in 21 games at Hearts and 10 in 24 while on loan at Blackpool in the latter half of 2020/21 – and he would provide a different type of forward option to the more physical Stewart and Dykes.
A Championship loan move seems the natural next step for the young Everton forward and he’s a player that should be on the radar of both Sunderland and QPR.
His Toffees teammate Broadhead may well be the Black Cats’ first choice but Simms should certainly be a player they consider.
He could well be the next Premier League forward to thrive on loan in the Championship.