When it was announced Feb. 1 that Daryl Dike had been loaned from Orlando City SC to Barnsley, inquiring minds started wondering if the forward would permanently land with the English Championship side.
It's a short-term loan, one whereby the Lions could recall the 20-year-old at any point. And then reports emerged that Dike’s move came with a $20 million purchase option, a steep price for a once-capped US men’s national team striker who’s only completed one professional season.
To help clarify what lies ahead, Orlando Sentinel beat writer Julia Poe addressed the specifics on Extratime. While a permanent move is possible, she said it’s more of a short-term arrangement.
“Either way, (the loan is) going to expire at the end of the season in May,” Poe said. “Not a super long time over there. The price tag at the end of the option to buy is $20 million and that's only for 80% of his rights, so Orlando City would still hold onto 20 percent and they'd get to cash in 20 percent of whatever future sale occurred. It's a really, really high price tag.”
Dike is coming off a rookie season where he had eight goals and four assists in 17 games (15 starts) for Orlando. He was picked No. 5 overall in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft after impressing at the University of Virginia.
In another layer, Orlando made a splash last weekend by signing former Brazil international Alexandre Pato as a free agent, strengthening their options up top. And the 2021 MLS season is set to start April 17, so Dike’s loan could extend a handful of games into Orlando’s second year under head coach Oscar Pareja.
So what’s the end result? It’s hard to say definitively, but the pieces are also somewhat logical to piece together.
“It definitely seems like it's not structured for that permanent loan unless there is an opportunity to really get just the absolute biggest bang for the buck out of it,” Poe said. “I don't think Orlando City wants to see Daryl Dike exit this quickly unless there is that payoff where everyone is benefitting at that level, both financially and in the opportunity that he's getting out to. Obviously, we see that with this reported price tag on this loan, that's not an easy price tag for a team like Barnsley to meet unless they're able to just fly up into promotion."