Why Lyndon Dykes could be a smart signing for Brentford
The 24-year-old has also been scouted at close quarters by fellow English second-tier outfits Hull City, Cardiff City and Middlesbrough, with a view to a potential transfer during the mid-season trading period in January. (h/t Daily Mail)
Born in Gold Coast, Australia, to parents of Scottish descent, Dykes featured for several clubs in his homeland, including Mudgeeraba, Merrimac, Redlands United, Gold Coast City and Surfers Paradise Apollo, before moving to Scotland with second-tier outfit Queen of the South back in 2016.
The towering 6ft. 2-inch centre-forward bagged 23 goals and 34 assists in 134 appearances for Queen of the South in all competitions before earning a move to the top-flight with Livingston in January 2019, although he spent the remainder of the previous campaign on loan at his former club.
Despite Livingston languishing in the bottom half of the standings in the Scottish Premiership, Dykes has made an immediate impact in his debut season with 6 goals and 5 assists in 19 appearances across all competitions, including a crucial strike in a 2-1 victory over reigning champions Celtic earlier in the campaign.
Profiled by Daily Mail as a quick and athletic forward with decent aerial ability, the 24-year-old’s promising breakthrough season in the Scottish top-flight has put a number of second-tier clubs south of the border on red alert.
As per the report, Dykes is still under contract at Livingston until 2022 but the EFL Championship sides are looking at him as a player who could well come within an affordable price range in an inflating market.
Meanwhile, Brentford strengthened their playoff credentials and climbed up to 4th in the standings with an impressive 1-0 victory over promotion rivals Fulham in the Championship on Saturday, thanks to a solitary first-half strike from Bryan Mbuemo.
With a tally of 33 goals scored and just 17 conceded in 22 games, Thomas Frank’s side are currently flying high in the Championship and are in the mix for a top-six finish heading into the second half of the campaign.
To that end, the Bees don’t need to make wholesale changes to their squad in January, given that they are well-stocked in all departments, especially at the back.
Brentford might need to brace themselves for approaches from the Premier League clubs for two of their prized attacking assets, Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma.
Watkins has been linked with a move to Sheffield United in recent rimes (h/t Sheffield Star) while Aston Villa retain an interest in Benrahma, having been linked with the Algerian winger this past summer (Sky Sports h/t Sun).
Watkins, who has taken over the centre-forward duties this term following the departure of Neal Maupay to Brighton, is currently the club’s top-scorer in the Championship with 13 goals. Losing him midway through the campaign would create a massive void up top.
Keeping hold of Watkins, at least for the ongoing campaign, should be a top priority for the Bees. However, they would be wise enough to line up a few alternatives should they receive an offer that they simply can’t turn down.
To put things into perspective, Lyndon Dykes looks like a decent and affordable option in the right age bracket to possibly fill the void if Watkins departs Griffin Park in January.
In fact, the Australian’s powerful frame, coupled with his well-rounded skill set, would hand a massive boost to Frank’s team dynamics, regardless of Watkins’ future at the club.
Indeed, Watkins has been top-notch this season but Dykes would add another dimension and a much-needed focal point to the attack with his physicality and aerial prowess, something that Brentford have often lacked since the departure of Maupay.
Highly-rated academy graduate Marcus Forss is currently working wonders out on loan at AFC Wimbledon in the League One but Dykes has plenty of time on his side to make significant adjustments to his game to match the demands of playing in a more competitive league.
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Having said that, Lyndon Dykes is certainly a gamble worth taking for Brentford in January.