Beni Baningime: Hearts got themselves 'great player' in Ellis Simms

Beni Baningime insists Hearts have got themselves a “great player" after watching Ellis Simms make his debut in maroon during Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Celtic.

By Craig Fowler
Friday, 28th January 2022, 7:00 am
Ellis Simms battles with Celtic's Carl Starfelt for possession during his Hearts debut at Tynecastle Park on Wednesday evening. Picture: SNS
Ellis Simms battles with Celtic's Carl Starfelt for possession during his Hearts debut at Tynecastle Park on Wednesday evening. Picture: SNS

The pair, who were team-mates at Everton, were second-half substitutes during the narrow defeat as the hosts almost fought back from a 2-0 deficit with Liam Boyce missing a penalty after reducing the arrears from open play.

Both Simms and Baningime made a big impact, turning the flow of the game back in Hearts’ favour as Robbie Neilson’s men pressed valiantly for an equaliser.

The 21-year-old unsettled Celtic centre-back pairing Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt, allowing the home side to make the ball stick in attack and squeeze the game.

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Even though Simms completed his loan move on the day of the game and has only made one competitive first-team appearance so far this season, Baningime wasn’t surprised to see his old Toffees club-mate hit the ground running and promises much more to come from the England youth international.

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“Hearts have got a great player,” said the midfielder. “I was speaking to him before he signed. I was telling him about the games, the fans, the league and just how passionate everyone is. He said he really wanted to join.

“I done a little bit of agent work, but the gaffer convinced him on that, the club itself, how we’re doing right now, I think that convinced him.

“Today, I thought he was brilliant, it’s good to see him and soon you’ll see him scoring hopefully.

"Straight away he was ready. I think it must be something about Everton. I’m really happy him, I knew he was going to get going, so now I’m just waiting on his first goal.

“We were training with the first team at Everton, and he looked really good. I think he’ll do well here and kick on to whatever he wants to do after that.

“His pace, he’s lightning. You can give him a bad ball and he’ll make it into a good ball. That’s an attribute that not many people have and when he gets into those position, he can put the ball away.”

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