Rumoured Premier League target Dike swaps Orlando City for West Brom

By Sports Desk January 01, 2022

West Brom have completed the signing of the in-demand Daryl Dike from Orlando City for an undisclosed fee.

Dike impressed for fellow Championship side Barnsley on loan last season, striking nine times in 21 appearances as Valerien Ismael's former club made it into the playoffs.

Barnsley ultimately faltered in their semi-final against beaten finalists Swansea City, but Dike has now followed Ismael to West Brom on a four-and-a-half-year contract.

The 21-year-old striker also registered 11 goals for Orlando in 19 MLS outings in 2021, drawing reported interest from Premier League sides Leeds United, Newcastle United and Everton.

However, Ismael and West Brom managed to secure a deal for Dike on Saturday – subject to international clearance – for a fee believed to be around £7million.

The Baggies manager believes his new signing can fire West Brom back into the Premier League.

"I'm delighted we have completed the transfer of Dike," Ismael told West Brom's official website. "He was always our first target and priority. 

"There's a lot of teamwork that has gone into this deal. Dike has everything we need from the No.9 position. He has energy, strength – he challenges defenders – and he scores goals.

"I worked with him at Barnsley and I know him very well. He has the mentality. He is 21 and is still a young player – but he has a lot of experience.

"Now it's about preparing Dike for the Championship. It was important to us to get Dike as early as possible because we know that he had four weeks off after the MLS season.

"For sure, he needs time and the schedule for him is to work hard in the next two weeks, so he is ready to play a part against QPR [on January 15]. That is our target and now, with my staff, we will work to have a very, very good build-up – using every day – to ensure he is in top shape by that game."

West Brom currently sit fourth in the Championship, four points adrift of second-placed Fulham and eight points behind leaders Bournemouth.

Related items

  • 'We do not enter this equation' – Barcelona never in the running for Mbappe or Haaland, says Xavi 'We do not enter this equation' – Barcelona never in the running for Mbappe or Haaland, says Xavi

    Xavi has insisted Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland were never realistic targets for Barcelona, though he is confident he will have money to invest in the squad. 

    Barca wrap up what has been a turbulent season against Villarreal on Sunday. 

    The Blaugrana will finish second in LaLiga, a testament to the work done by Xavi since he replaced the much-maligned Ronald Koeman earlier in the campaign. 

    However, they were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage and fell to a defeat to eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League quarter-finals, while there was no success in the Copa del Rey either. 

    The 2021-22 season came on the back of Lionel Messi's shock departure, as Barca grappled with financial issues that saw the superstar leave for Paris Saint-Germain. 

    Ferran Torres, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Adama Traore arrived to bolster the squad in January, though the latter two were on a free transfer and a loan respectively. 

    Barca were linked with moves for Mbappe and Haaland. However, Mbappe is weighing up offers from Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid while Haaland is joining Manchester City, and Xavi has claimed there was never any chance of the Blaugrana having the financial capability to sign such players. 

    "Ask me another question," he told a news conference on Saturday. "Mbappe, let him do what he wants, let him be happy.  

    "We do not enter into this equation. I do not understand the question. 

    "We cannot put a lot of money in. The economic situation is what it is. We did not enter the bidding of Haaland or Mbappe but that is what we have inherited. 

    "There is no need to look back. You have to carry on. We have to compete and win titles again, we need to be competitive from now on. 

    "The president transmits confidence to me and that we will be able to invest in our squad. We have made a plan and we will try to execute it.  

    "The economic situation is serious but it is not my turn to talk about money. I'm here to talk about football. The economic problems are what they are, but let's talk about football." 

    One player who has been heavily linked is Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, who plundered 50 goals in all competitions in the 2021-22 campaign. 

    No player across Europe's top five leagues has scored more goals than the Poland striker this season, but he has told Bayern he wishes to leave and will not be signing a new contract, with his deal ending in June 2023. 

    However, LaLiga president Javier Tebas on Friday cast doubt on Barca's ability to be able to afford the 34-year-old. 

    Asked about Lewandowski, Xavi said: "It is one of the possibilities that may come. He has said it himself.  

    "There are some negotiations involved. It will not be easy with Bayern involved." 

    One possible outgoing at Barca who could free up funds would be Frenkie de Jong. Both Manchester clubs are credited with an interest in the Netherlands international who joined from Ajax in 2019, though it has been reported the 25-year-old is in no rush to leave the Camp Nou. 

    "Here we go back to talking about the economic situation," replied Xavi when pressed on the De Jong speculation.  

    "He is, for me, a great player who is very capable and very dominating, he can help us a lot, but we go back to talking about money and I don't want to do that." 

  • Atletico Madrid need signings for 'new energy' – Simeone Atletico Madrid need signings for 'new energy' – Simeone

    Diego Simeone is targeting some new signings to reinvigorate an Atletico Madrid squad that "needs new energy". 

    Atletico were disappointing in the defence of their LaLiga title and have lost nine games and conceded 42 goals – both their worst totals since the 2011-12 campaign, when they appointed Simeone midway through the season. 

    A strong finish to this term, in which they went on a run of nine wins in 12 outings, enabled them to secure a top-four finish and a place in next season's Champions League. 

    Simeone still has faith in the ability of his squad but feels it would be wise for Atleti to try to conduct some galvanising transfers. 

    "We have a strong squad. In almost all areas, we have players who can give us what we want. We don't need many players, but we do need some to reinforce a team that needs new energy," said Simeone. 

    The Atleti boss took responsibility for the team's shortcomings because he felt he did not do enough to solve the issues they faced. 

    "I'm not happy with this season at all. After winning LaLiga, I always had the hope of being closer to defending it. It's a good lesson in life to keep learning," said Simeone. 

    "The 4-4-2 and 5-3-2 that we were using – that also made me feel a bit dizzy. There is not much difference between the two but I could have done more than I did. 

    "We have to refine things. We suffered with the absence of [Kieran] Trippier and were not able to solve it as I would have liked. [Marcos] Llorente played a whole year in a position where he couldn't show what he showed last season. 

    "We suffered a lot with the central defenders – [Stefan] Savic and [Jose] Gimenez have had injuries and setbacks. They seem like excuses, but they are realities. I couldn't solve it in the best way. 

    "There's always a lot of self-criticism and it's harsher than what the media says. We want to win. The club's goal is to get in the Champions League, but ours is to win. 

    "It was an unusual season. We're not used to conceding so many goals and we lost many games. But with all the difficulties we qualified for the Champions League with two games to spare." 

    Atleti will hope to finish the season by defeating Real Sociedad on Sunday and claiming back-to-back away LaLiga wins for the first time since June 2022. 

    Los Colchoneros have won six of their 10 away games against Sociedad under Simeone, having won only six of the previous 28 such encounters.

  • Lewandowski received Bayern contract offer and will not be sold – Kahn Lewandowski received Bayern contract offer and will not be sold – Kahn

    Bayern Munich chief executive Oliver Kahn insists Robert Lewandowski was offered a new contract and will not be allowed to leave in the close season. 

    Lewandowski has one year remaining on his existing deal and it was previously reported Bayern could look to sell the striker ahead of the 2022-23 campaign to avoid him going on a free.

    The Poland international, who has scored 110 goals over the past three Bundesliga seasons, has asked to leave and said after their final game against Wolfsburg last week that he had not received a proposal for new terms. 

    But Kahn denied that is true, telling Welt: "We submitted a concrete offer to his agent, otherwise we wouldn't have said that."

    Asked what fee would be required for Bayern to grant Barcelona-linked Lewandowski an exit before the end of his deal, Kahn was defiant. 

    "This isn't a question for us. Robert Lewandowski has a contract until 2023 and he will fulfil it," he said. 

    "I cannot say how Uli [Hoeness] or Karl-Heinz [Rummenigge] would have acted. When I started here, I was aware that the bar was set very high and that there would be situations where the past would always be brought up. 

    "Every situation is different and I act as I believe is right." 

    He added: "Bayern is not and will not become a development club. Bayern are still a big force. There are many players who would die to play for us. 

    "A development club is forced to sell players every now and then. That's not us. We want to keep our top players for as long as possible.

    "That's why we renewed [Joshua] Kimmich, [Leon] Goretzka, [Kingsley] Coman and [Thomas] Muller this season. Jamal Musiala is also key for the future." 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.