Daryl Dike is a big reason why Barnsley has clinched a promotion playoff spot, and now he will have a chance to try and help the club earn promotion to the English Premier League.
Orlando City announced on Thursday that it had reached an agreement on an extension of Dike’s loan deal, which the Lions could have ended in a week if an agreement had not been reached.
Orlando City had the right to recall Dike from his loan to Barnsley as early as May 4, according to a report from the Orlando Sentinel. The deal the MLS side struck with the English Championship team for Dike back in February was not set to expire until May 31, but the Lions had the option to end the loan before then.
Orlando City has tied its first two matches of the 2021 MLS season, managing just one goal so far. That scarcity of early-season goal production, coupled with a recent injury to offseason striker acquisition Alexandre Pato, had made ending Dike’s loan early a very real possibility given Orlando City had no real incentive to let it run through the end of May.
Orlando City did not disclose what the new agreement included, but given the financial stakes on the line if Barnsley was to secure promotion to the Premier League, it is probably a safe bet the new deal included a healthy loan fee.
Dike has been on a roll for Barnsley, scoring nine goals in 18 matches since joining the side. His contributions have helped the Reds move up into sixth place in the standings in England’s second division, with a chance to finish as high as third if results go their way during the final two match-days.
The American’s goal-scoring exploits have also reportedly caught the eyes of other clubs in England, with one report claiming Orlando City turned down a $10 million offer for him from a current Premier League team.
“We believe in his potential,” said Leitao. “We understand that players, especially in that age, have this desire to go to Europe and play for top tier leagues. I think Daryl has that opportunity, he proved himself to have the opportunity, and we will help him to accomplish his potential and his desire.”
Dike’s loan to Barnsley includes a purchase option, which is reportedly approximately $20 million, but that is a fee Barnsley is unlikely to pay unless the club secures promotion to the Premier League.
Barnsley is next set to visit Preston North End on Saturday while Orlando City takes on FC Cincinnati later that day.