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Daryl Dike at Barnsley: How’s it gone so far? What issues does he face? What’s next?



The arrival of Daryl Dike at Oakwell was one of the stories of the January transfer window. 

Barnsley landed the 20-year-old American on loan from MLS club Orlando City late in the window, in something of a shock move.

He impressed during his first year in the MLS but the Championship is worlds away from the glitz and glamour of the US top division.

After nearly two months with the Tykes, we’ve examined how Dike’s time at the Yorkshire club has gone so far, what issues he faces and what might come next…

How’s it gone so far?

It’s hard to see how things could have gone much better, to be honest.

Dike’s arrival has coincided with the Tykes going on a 10-game unbeaten run that included nine victories and catapulted Valerien Ismael’s side into the play-off places.

It took the forward a short period to settle but he’s now scored five goals in 11 games for Barnsley, including four in six games this month.

Dike’s physicality and cleverness have been clear to see in what is looking like a masterstroke of a signing.

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What issues does he face?

Barnsley’s unbeaten run has come to an end, with Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday beating them 2-1 on the weekend, and rediscovering that sort of momentum after the international break may not be easy.

On a personal level, with the likes of Dominik Frieser, Conor Chaplin, and Cauley Woodrow also in good form, there’s competition for places at Oakwell – so remaining a key figure is by no means guaranteed.

On top of that, Dike could have an interesting and difficult decision to make in the coming months over his future.

The Tykes are understood to have an option to buy the 20-year-old in the summer, with CEO Dane Murphy suggesting that reports they’d have to pay $20 million (£14.6 million) are wide of the mark.

What’s next?

Dike’s short-term focus has to be on getting Barnsley back to winning ways and beyond that, on making the play-offs and pushing for promotion.

The forward is scheduled to return to Orlando when the deal expires in May, with head coach Oscar Pareja indicating they can’t wait to have him back, but should the Tykes trigger their reported option to buy he could well be staying in Yorkshire.

Given how he’s thrived in the Championship and what a bright future he seems to have, it would be no surprise to see bigger clubs interested.

Bristol-born, London-based sports journalist at Snack Media. University of Brighton and NA graduate

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Daryl Dike at Barnsley: How’s it gone so far? What issues does he face? What’s next?

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