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Leeds avoided a big blunder with failed swoop for Daryl Dike

Leeds United scrapped their way to survival in the Premier League last season as Jesse Marsch’s side avoided the drop to the Championship on the final day of the campaign.

A 2-1 win away at Brentford meant that they finished three points clear of Burnley, who finished 18th, and retained their place in the top-flight for another year.

Marsch came in to replace Argentine head coach Marcelo Bielsa midway through the season after the former Marseille boss left Elland Road at the end of February.

Victor Orta did not bolster the former Whites manager’s squad in the transfer market back in January and the American, who replaced him, proved that the squad was good enough to stay up without any further reinforcements.

Things could have been different, though, as the club were reportedly looking at potential signings throughout the month. 90min reported that Leeds were interested in a deal to sign Daryl Dike and that MLS side Orlando were willing to allow him to leave during the January window.

However, Orta failed to secure his services and he ended up signing for Championship outfit West Brom for a reported fee in the region of £7m.

Then-Baggies manager Valerian Ismael hailed the USA international, telling his club’s official website:

“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 years old and is still a young player – but he has a lot of experience.”

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The forward had caught the eye after scoring 11 goals in 19 games for Orlando and nine goals in 21 Championship appearances for Barnsley on loan throughout 2021. 20 goals in 40 matches over the course of a year was a terrific return for the young striker and that form led to Orta showing an interest in signing him.

His struggles since making the move to The Hawthorns will leave the sporting director relieved that he failed to snap the forward up, though, as he has been ravaged with injuries in 2022.

He made two appearances in the second tier for the Baggies last season before suffering a hamstring injury. Transfermarkt notes that it caused him to miss 11 matches but he was not involved in any of West Brom’s last 20 games in all competitions during 2021/22, which suggests that he was struggling with the knock for the remainder of the campaign.

Dike made his comeback against Middlesbrough on the first day of the current season and played 12 minutes before being hit with a thigh injury and he has been absent for their 12 matches in all competitions since then.

The striker remains sidelined at this moment in time and has proven to be a liability for the second tier outfit throughout 2022 as he has been unable to enjoy a run of games on the pitch, whilst failing to score in any of the three games he has managed to play in this year.

It may sound harsh, as suffering back-to-back injuries like that is unfortunate for the forward, but it appears as though Orta has avoided a big £7m blunder as the zero-goal striker’s fitness record suggests that he would not be a reliable player for Marsch.

Article title: Leeds avoided a big blunder with failed swoop for Daryl Dike

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