Stoke City have made a transfer approach to relegated League One side Rochdale for striker Stephen Humphrys, according to The72.
The Potters were among a clutch of Championship clubs linked with the 23-year-old last month by the same source, with other apparent admirers including Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday.
Humphrys moved from Bury to Fulham as a teenager but didn’t make the grade at Craven Cottage, only making two league appearances in the 2016-17 campaign before going out on loan to various clubs in the EFL.
After a loan spell at Spotland in the 2017-18 season, Humphrys joined Rochdale permanently from Southend United in 2020 and has netted double figures in League One this season with 10 goals in 28 outings, but his goals were unable to stop his side from relegation to the fourth tier of English football.
His goals this season have seemingly caught the attention of clubs in the Championship and they’re something Stoke could do with next season, with their only player in double figures this season being Nick Powell with 12 league strikes.
And Humphrys would probably represent a cheap punt with the player having just one year left on his contract and with relegation confirmed, Rochdale may want to cash in on their asset.
The big 22-question Stoke City end of season quiz – Can you score 100% on this?
Goalscoring has been quite an issue for Michael O’Neill side this season – and that won’t have been helped by the mid-season loss of Tyrese Campbell.
Take away Powell’s 12 goals, Fletcher’s nine and the six of Jacob Brown and the Potters are really thin in terms of hitting the back of the net, with O’Neill not being able to call on many striking options.
Is Humphrys the answer? I’m not so sure – his Championship experience is just two games as a teenager for Fulham but he may be ready for the step up to the second tier, and for the fee that will probably be needed to take him away from Rochdale it represents a low-risk punt.