Southend United have completed the permanent signing of striker Stephen Humphrys from Fulham.
The 21-year-old, who was on loan at Scunthorpe United in the first half of the season, arrives from the West London side on a two-and-a-half-year contract.
Humphrys was in Bury’s Academy at an early age before moving to Fulham in 2013.
Rising through the Cottagers’ Academy, he made his debut against Derby County in 2016 aged 19 before going out on loan to Shrewsbury Town in the second half of the 2016/17 season.
Humphrys’ second loan spell of his career came a year later at Rochdale where he made 18 appearances scoring three goals, one of which came against Tottenham Hotspur in an FA Cup replay at Wembley.
At the start of the current campaign Humphrys joined Scunthorpe and, in 20 appearances in all competitions, scored five goals before returning to Fulham at the start of the year.
Speaking to iFollow Blues following the move, Humphrys, who has signed in time to be involved against Bradford City this afternoon, said: “I’m delighted. It’s a big step in my career, I’m pleased to have got it over the line and can’t wait to get started.
“It’s a permanent move, it’s not a loan, so I’m joining a club that I can hopefully find a real identity at.
“It’s a big club with a really good fanbase and I want to feel as much involved in the club and do as well as I can here as possible.
“It’s not like I’m coming into a league where I don’t have any experience. I started off well at Scunthorpe and went through a phase where I scored three in five and then unfortunately it didn’t work out at, but everything happens for a reason and in a way I’m delighted it did work out like that because I’ve ended up here and I’m happy to be here.
“I’ve still got a lot to learn; I think everyone’s got a lot to learn and being so young this is a great opportunity to learn my trade at a big club.
“The manager has told me what he wants from me and we agreed that this would be the best club to get the best out of me."
Southend manager Chris Powell, said: “Firstly I'm delighted that Stephen's agreed to join us. He's been out on loan a number of times but this is a permanent move and it's, for me, a start for him to settle down somewhere and show everyone what he's like on a regular basis.
"All centre-forwards are judged on goals and that's the reason he's here - to assist and create them as well, but I've tracked his progress for a while and there were a number of clubs in for him, but I think he now sees this as an opportunity to have a home at a level he can excel at.
"It's great that he's chosen us because there were a number of other sides in League One that were keen on his services, but he's felt comfortable and excited about coming here."
Powell added: "We all know we've been short and light in certain areas where we maybe haven't been able to change things. A player of Steve's calibre and quality will certainly help us do that in the respect of being a better team and a better squad, but of course he needs to come in and prove himself.
"He has all the attributes. He's strong off both feet, he's got good mobility, he has real good quality, he's a good technician, he's a finisher, but of course you have to make him feel comfortable and that's what we'll aim to do.
"I see him as someone who can do something a bit different, but you're judged on goals and whether they're from inside the box or outside the box, I want him to do his best to score all types of goals on a regular basis in League One."
Humphrys will wear squad number 39 for the remainder of the season.
You can become the striker's kit sponsor for £250+vat. For more details call commercial on 01702 304147.
An interview with Stephen on the move to Roots Hall will be on iFollow Blues shortly!