West Brom chief executive Ron Gourlay has predicted Daryl Dike will be a 'future star' for the club, despite a bumpy start to life in the Midlands.
Dike completed a move to the Hawthorns from Orlando City in January for $9.5m after a remarkable emergence in MLS. But a series of injuries have limited him to just two appearances for his new club.
It would be natural at this point to question whether or not this has been the right move for both player and club, especially given the finances involved.
But Gourlay is absolutely confident Dike will play a huge role in West Brom's future in years to come.
“You’ll not meet a nicer player,” the chief executive told the Express and Star. “His energy is unbelievable. He’s here every day, he works incredibly hard, he’s a joy to be around. His appearance back on the pitch will lift the whole team.
“Anybody who has any concerns that he came only because of Val – he left (Barnsley) and went on to have another career and do fantastically well for Orlando.
“It wasn’t just West Brom who were tracking Dike, but we were able to move quite quickly, like with (Alex) Mowatt, because of that link.
“I have no doubt that he’ll be a future star of the football club, and I think the fans think that too.”
Without Dike, West Brom currently sit 12th in the Championship table and still maintain faint hopes of qualifying for the promotion playoffs.
The striker is back in training and was set to feature for the club's Under-23 side on Monday, but it was decided it was best not to risk him.
“The idea was for him to play in the Under-23s game on Monday at the Hawthorns,” Bruce said. “Unfortunately he was uncomfortable. It’s not quite the same injury. And we want to take every precaution we can.”