Emile Heskey is a big fan of reported Everton target Daryl Dike but is wary of comparing the Barnsley hitman with former Toffees hero Romelu Lukaku, while speaking exclusively to HITC.
There are certainly a few similarities between the 20-year-old American and a £75 million superstar firing Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan to their first Serie A title in a decade.
Since swapping Orlando for Oakwell, Daryl Dike has taken the Championship by storm, scoring eight times in 14 matches, rag-dolling defenders with his 6ft 1ins frame.
Speaking in March, after the USA international launched a 20-yard rocket into the Birmingham City net, Barnsley teammate Jordan Williams made the comparison between Dike and Lukaku (Yorkshire Post).
And with Everton watching closely, there is a chance that one of England’s most in-form forwards could soon be following in Lukaku’s footsteps with a big-money switch to Goodison Park (EuroSport).
Although Heskey, a physical centre-forward himself in his playing days, is at pains to point out that Dike still has a lot to learn and a lot to improve.
“He looks strong and powerful. But comparing someone like that to Lukaku is tough, because you’re comparing to someone whose goal-scoring record is second to none. He’s beaten R9’s record – the Ronaldo,” Heskey said.
“(Dike) is a strong, powerful lad who knows where the back of the net is, who understands his strengths and ability and runs with it.
“When you’re talking about a powerful, powerful player, with the ability to hold the ball up as the lone striker, there will be so many clubs who need and want that.
“I think I came in the wrong era – I’d have loved to play up front on my own!
“(But) the higher you get up the leagues, it becomes tougher. Defenders become cuter, goalkeepers become better, everyone becomes fitter, stronger, wiser. So you’ve got to become better.”
According to TEAMtalk, there is an option in Dike’s contract allowing Barnsley to buy the on-loan striker outright this summer.
But, with Orlando City demanding £17 million, you would imagine that Valerien Ismael’s side would have to earn promotion to the Premier League before they could even think about paying such an eye-watering, club-record transfer fee.
“If you do make it up into the Premier League, suddenly your buying potential surpasses everything you’ve had before. I think you jump into the top 25 richest clubs in the world,” Heskey added.