Barnsley deadline-day signing Daryl Dike could make his debut for the club as soon as this weekend, according to head coach Valerien Ismael.
The United States international striker has signed on loan for the remainder of the season from MLS outfit Orlando City.
Because the 20-year-old has moved from one elite sports bubble to another, going straight to England from the American national team, he does not have to quarantine on arrival.
After producing a negative Covid-19 test, Dike was able to join his new team-mates and took part in his first training session for the club on Thursday morning.
Barnsley welcome Derby County to Oakwell on Saturday, and Ismael revealed to The72 that his latest addition to the squad could be in his plans for the match.
He said: “We have to wait for the result (of another test). If everything goes right, he can be eligible for the game on Saturday.
“It is a good thing that he is in rhythm, he played (last week for the US), that’s why we just need to integrate him with our principles as quickly as possible, so he understands how we press, what is our way to play football, but I think the first contact with him is excellent.
“He is happy to be here, he wants to learn, and we now need the game to judge him, to see his development, and help him make the next step.”
Dike also spoke to the media for the first time since arriving at Barnsley, and he believed that he was fitting into the club and the team well.
“In terms of getting acclimated, I think it’s going quickly,” he said. “The guys are doing really well to make sure I understand the tactics, how the coach wants to play and how everyone wants to play, and how I can fit into the club.
“Just from the first training session you can instantly see the kind of family feeling that the guys have and I think that translates onto the field.”
Dike is set to spend the rest of the Championship season with Barnsley, despite questions being raised after the signing about a recall clause, as well as the feasibility of the “purchase” option attached.
But for as long as he is a Reds player, Ismael hopes that he will prove a useful addition to the front line.
The Barnsley boss was clear in his desire for a striker in the closing stages of the transfer window and got his wish, and he said he was “delighted” to bring in a player with the attributes and pedigree of Dike, who was the MLS Rookie of the Year last season after scoring eight goals and assisting four more in 17 matches.
“For us it’s a big surprise that we got I think a big talent on the American market,” he said. “It was a big opportunity for us and it was a name among our list, but for sure it was special to get him and now I’m very delighted that he’s here.
“He will be another possibility in our front (line), another kind of player. We didn’t have more physicality, more speed, more strength in the front three. That’s why we are delighted that we can add another profile of player in our squad.”