Barnsley CEO Dane Murphy has confirmed that forward Daryl Dike will be available to feature in their play-off run next month amid fears that he would be recalled by parent club Orlando City.
The Tykes sealed their place in the play-offs on the weekend after a remarkable run in the second half of the season, with winter arrival Dike playing a key role.
The 20-year-old forward joined on loan from Orlando in the MLS and has been one of the in-form players in the Championship since – scoring nine goals in 17 games for Barnsley.
There have been concerns raised by supporters that with the MLS season now underway, Dike may have to return to his parent club and miss the play-off run.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Murphy has addressed the situation and calmed fears about their star forward’s availability.
He said: “We have an extension through the end of the season, no matter what that day is. They (Orlando) have a recall that was built into the loan because of their MLS window, which had changed. It was originally May 5.
“Our original loan was until May 2 and May 5 was the time he had to be back (by) before he was not allowed until July to play. They said: ‘Listen, he has to come back by May 5.’
“Now we have got to this point, we have an extension through to the end of our season, but the recall was left there in case we did not make the play-offs.
“As we may need him past the 2nd, we left that in there so that he could come back (if Barnsley did not quality for the top six). Now that we are in the play-offs, we fully expect him to see out the season with us and push us as far as we can go.
“It has worked out for all three parties as best as it possibly could.”
Dike’s future beyond the end of the current season looks unclear.
The Tykes do have an option to buy the forward and Murphy has indicated previously that it’s a deal the Yorkshire club could do even if they don’t get promoted this season.
The issue they may face, however, is that there are a string of Premier League clubs that have been linked with the 20-year-old – including the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Leeds United, and West Ham United.
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This is absolutely fantastic news from a Barnsley perspective.
Dike has become a key man over the past few months and it is very hard to see them securing promotion through the play-offs without him.
Murphy’s comments indicate that the 20-year-old should be around throughout the run, which certainly gives them the best chance of making the final at Wembley.