How Daryl Dike made a lasting impression at Barnsley

A BIG part of Barnsley’s rise into the Championship play-offs on the pitch, Carlton Morris and Daryl Dike will remain good friends off it – whatever direction their journeys now take in professional football.

The latter has returned to the United States after an eventful loan spell, which saw him win legions of new admirers and play a key role in one of the most feted EFL stories of recent times.

Dike’s future, for now, is back at parent club Orlando City, but his performances in England – which saw him score nine times after heading to Barnsley on February 1 – has alerted several Premier League clubs as well as others on the continent.

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While his goals and powerhouse performances helped mark him out as a star in the making, it was his daily demeanour and attitude which resonated just as much with Morris.

Barnsley's loan striker Daryl Dike. Picture: Steve Ellis

The pair also share a common interest in NBA basketball with Morris being a Dallas Mavericks fan and Dike following Oklahoma City Thunder.

Morris said: “I admire that kid very much. I think people forget that he is 20 years old and has come over from America to Barnsley and had probably never heard of it before.

“He came over from America and has been fantastic and was instrumental for our season in the way we play.

“It takes a certain type of character to be able to do that. He came to training every day with a smile on his face and it says a lot about him as a person and I am very pleased that he has gone onto do well.”

Barnsley's Carlton Morris. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Following his exploits with Barnsley, Dike has linked up with the US national team, but has surprisingly not been included in the squad for the forthcoming Concacaf Nations League finals which see them compete with Honduras, Mexico and Costa Rica.

Head coach Gregg Berhalter said the decision was a “very difficult” one, although Dike could feature in a pre-finals friendly with Switzerland and another with Costa Rica after the finals.

The belief is that at 20, Dike’s international time will come and Morris says he will follow his friend’s career with interest.

He added: “It will be very interesting to see where his future brings him. Even if he supports the wrong basketball team, but I am working on it. He will be a Dallas boy soon enough!

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