Journalist Luke Hatfield reckons that signing Daryl Dike would be a statement of intent from Valerien Ismael.
The striker has scored six goals in the MLS for Orlando City this term, but the USA international first caught the eye during his incredible loan spell at Barnsley last season when his form propelled them into the top-six under Valerien Ismael.
What’s the latest news with Dike?
The 21-year-old, valued at £9m by Transfermarkt, was relatively unknown to English football before 2021, but his blistering goalscoring exploits from February onwards soon saw people take note.
Dike ended up scoring an impressive nine goals in just 19 Championship appearances, helping the Tykes go from midtable to a fifth-place finish. He wasn’t able to add to his tally in the play-offs as Ismael’s side were narrowly beaten by Swansea in the semi-finals, but it was a great individual effort by the American.
Such was Dike’s form, according to the Express and Star, Ismael was keen on reuniting with him in the summer window, although he eventually stayed in the MLS with Orlando.
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West Brom did bring in a striker in the shape of Jordan Hugill on loan from Norwich, but the Baggies have been short of goals in recent weeks, scoring just 11 goals in their last nine Championship games, which means they could revisit a move for Dike in January.
Should that happen, Hatfield reckons that it would be a statement signing from Ismael.
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What did Hatfield say?
He told GIVEMESPORT: “It would be a real statement, though, if they were to go and get him. He’s done so well at Orlando, and he did so well at Barnsley.”
Do West Brom need Dike?
Ismael does have several players that are able to play up front and has already tested the likes of Karlan Grant, Jordan Hugill and Callum Robinson as the lone striker, whilst Matt Phillips has even filled in there on the odd occasion.
But whilst those four are all capable of scoring goals, none have the same presence or physicality of Dike, who’s not only a goalscorer, but showed at Barnsley that he’s able to use his body to hold the ball up and bring others into play.
With that in mind, if Dike comes available, you’d be brave to bet against Ismael looking to try and sign the striker in January.
Should that happen, and he has a similar impact to the one he made at Barnsley, there’s every chance West Brom will be playing Premier League football next season.