This season it seemed a question of when not if Daryl Dike would be on the move away from Orlando City. During last season’s loan to Barnsley in the Championship, Dike scored nine goals in 19 appearances, leading them streaking into the Championship playoffs. But since Barnsley didn’t get promoted into the Premier League they couldn’t afford the reported $20 million release clause and Dike returned to Orlando City for the MLS season.
Due to getting injured last summer while at the Gold Cup for the United States men’s national team, Dike only made 19 appearances for Orlando City during this season but was effective when he was on the field, scoring 11 goals and assisting one more.
According to reports, that was enough to earn Dike a shot at returning to the Championship as West Bromwich Albion are closing in on a move.
The move is a win for both sides. While Orlando will need to wait for the transfer fee since it’s a loan to buy, Dike will head to a league and coach that he is familiar with. West Brom are currently fourth in the Championship only four points off of an automatic promotion spot, adding Dike could be the shot in the arm to push them to the Premier League. Clearly it’s what manager Valerian Ismail has in mind, since he was the boss at Barnsley when Dike spearheaded their run as well.
Currently, West Brom’s front three includes Adam Reach, Callum Robinson, and Grady Diangana. Dike will be expected to play centrally or off the right to assist with setting up Robinson in attack similarly to how Ismael used him last season.
While Dike was briefly linked with clubs as high as the top six Premier League sides over the summer, he could still end up in the Premier League if West Brom can secure promotion. And with the race for the United States men’s national team open, Dike could find himself starting at the World Cup too. Striker remains one of the positions with no solidified starter ahead of the Winter World Cup in Qatar in November.
It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the United States as Dike could start a domino effect of top talent that is on the move.