Crystal Palace could form a formidable duo after being linked with a move for Orlando City striker Daryl Dike ahead of the January transfer window.
The Sun claimed at the beginning of the week that the Eagles are ‘keen on’ the highly-rated 21-year-old as Patrick Vieira looks to add further reinforcements to his forward line over the coming months.
With Christian Benteke set to turn 31 this month and loanee Jean-Philippe Mateta expected to return to his parent club Mainz 05 after failing to impress on English shores, a move for Dike could well be on the cards.
The United States international has become one of the biggest stars to come out of his homeland in recent years after being drafted into the MLS from Virginia Cavaliers by Orlando City back in January 2020.
Virginia men’s head coach George Gelnovatch was quick to praise his former player in an interview with ESPN, claiming the prolific forward is ‘ruthless’.
“There were moments (of game savvy),” said Gelnovatch. “But one of the things about him that nobody ever talks about is relentlessness. He is a relentless competitor, a ruthless guy on the field. You put that inside a body like his, and it’s pretty impressive.”
Dike’s impressive tally of eight goals and three assists in 17 league appearances for the Lions earned him a loan move to Championship outfit Barnsley halfway through last season and made the transition to the second-tier of English football look easy.
The 6 foot 1 colossus bagged nine league goals in just 19 outings, playing a pivotal part as the Yorkshire outfit reached the play-offs.
His eye-catching displays saw several impressed onlookers laud his talents, with Sky Sports pundit Don Goodman labelling him a “powerhouse.”
And Dike has continued his good form upon his return to Orlando this term, finding the back of the net on ten occasions in just 18 games as Oscar Pareja’s charges have climbed to sixth-position in the Eastern Conference.
A move to Selhurst Park over the winter window would see Dike play just ahead of several creative talents, but the prospect of Eberechi Eze linking up with such a deadly finisher would be a mouth-watering prospect.
In his maiden campaign in south London, the 23-year-old laid on six assists, averaged 1.3 key passes per game and created five big chances, highlighting his ability to carve open opportunities on a regular basis.
Therefore, Palace chairman Steve Parish must carefully consider a move for the £9m-rated Dike, potentially supplying Vieira with the firepower he needs to continue the capital club’s progression.