American striker Daryl Dike joined the Baggies at the start of the month as they look to address their stuttering form in their bid for an immediate return to the Premier League
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Former Manchester United winger quizzed about his time at the club
West Bromwich Albion have put their hands in their pockets as they aim to arrest a mid-season slump.
The Baggies have won just two of their last nine Championship matches.
It is a run which has threatened their hopes of sealing automatic promotion as they aim for an immediate return to the Premier League following relegation last season.
To help kick-start their bid, earlier this month the Baggies’ board sanctioned the £7million signing of Daryl Dike.
The American striker joined from Orlando City, having impressed in the English second tier last season with Barnsley. Dike, 21, played a starring role in the second half of the 2020-21 campaign as he helped the Reds seal a top-six spot.
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Daryl Dike’s last game was for Orlando, back in November
Ultimately the South Yorkshire side fell short in the play-offs but Dike’s impact was there for all to see after he scored nine times.
He is now reunited with manager Valerien Ismael at the Hawthorns, as they target another promotion tilt.
And Dike, who looks set to earn his Albion debut against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, has earned a ringing endorsement from one of his former teammates.
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Nani, the former Manchester United winger, played with Dike at Orlando and the two scored a combined 21 goals in the MLS last season.
Speaking about the American’s transfer back to England, Nani told MLS Soccer : “Daryl is a special boy.
“For me, very humble. Obviously when the kids start to play the game and start doing well on the field, start scoring goals, you start to feel like a star and you hear the fans calling for your name, it’s normal to … as we say in my country, the nose goes a little bit up.
Nani, the former Manchester United winger, was most recently playing for Orlando in the US
“(But) He listens to all the players and the coaches, and the lasting result is what you see.
“He’s been humble, he’s been paying attention, he wants to help the team, he wants to learn, the most important thing is he wants to learn.
“I think he can take his game very far,” Nani said. “I always tell him, ‘We need to know where we came from.’
“Once he always knows where he came from, he will know where he goes because he still listens, he still understands there is a lot of things he needs to improve.
Dike is expected to make his Baggies’ debut at QPR
“So when you have that understanding it’s easy to go wherever you want, but his potential is incredible. He’s so strong, his power to finish, he’s improved a lot the way he finishes. I think if he continues like that very soon, it’s very difficult to handle a player like that.”
The deal for Dike was done on the first day of January, with Ismael keen for the forward to get up to speed after the MLS season finished last year.
He said: “It was important to us to get Dike as early as possible because we know that he had four weeks off after the MLS season.
“For sure, he needs time and the schedule for him is to work hard in the next two weeks, so he is ready to play a part against QPR.
“That is our target and now, with my staff, we will work to have a very, very good build up – using every day – to ensure he is in top shape by that game.”
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