Back in February, the Orlando City MLS squad send former Virginia star Daryl Dike on loan to Barnsley FC. Dike helped lead the Virginia men’s soccer team to the National Championship game in 2019, where the Hoos fell to Georgetown in penalty kicks. Over his two-year college career, he scored 15 goals for the Cavaliers, 10 of which came in his final season in Charlottesville. He was drafted No. 5 overall in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft by Orlando City.
Since the move, Dike has absolutely thrived over the pond. Barnsley, a “second division” squad, has vaulted from 12th place to 5th in the league standings. The “Tykes” have a 10-2-1 record in league play since the 20-year-old Oklahoman joined the team. He was named the squad’s Player of the Month for March, as voted by the fans.
This monster strike from March 6 earned him the Goal of the Month honors:
Dike has played in 13 games for Barnsley so far, scoring a mind-blowing seven goals on 22 shots. In his 17 games with Orlando, he scored eight goals. With the Tykes, he’s scoring .74 goals per 90 minutes and is scoring a goal just about every third shot. Seems pretty good.
HIs play has turned heads, with rumors starting to swirl that one of the Premier League’s “Big Six” — Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham — would like to pick up his contract. Back in mid-March, Orlando City reportedly rejected a $10 million offer bid from one of those teams.
NBC Sports adds some clarity on the potential deal rumors:
Orlando City’s move to reject the bid is likely a negotiating tactic, as the act of turning down $10 million for a player with fewer than 2,000 professional minutes would border on criminal negligence. If the offer does indeed exist at $10 million, however, expect not only for the final price to end up higher than that number, but also for another club (or two) to insert themselves in the proceedings now that the offer has gone public.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the loan to Barnsley included an option for the club to buy Dike’s contract for $20 million. If they then sell his contract, Orlando would be due 20% of that future sale.
Dike hasn’t just been taking the pitch for Barnsley. The talented striker has made two appearances for the US Men’s National Team, making his debut in January of this year against Trinidad & Tobago.