Can Lyndon Dykes continue his stellar rise?
Background Image: Daniel0685 CC BY 2.0.
While a mooted transfer-deadline-day move to a bigger club didn’t materialise for Livingston striker Lyndon Dykes, he has undeniably caught the eye with some strong displays in his debut Scottish Premier League season. The Australian-born forward has gone from part-time footy on the Gold Coast to spearheading Livi’s attack in less than three years, while being tormentor-in-chief in the Lions memorable 2-0 victory over Celtic in October last year.
A relative latecomer to the game, Dykes excelled in rugby league as a youngster before being inspired by his uncle Stuart Johnston, a former pro with Orlando Pirates in South Africa, to ditch the oval ball for a round one.
After turning out for various teams in the Queensland National Premier League, Dykes joined Scottish Championship side Queen of the South in 2016 (a team coincidentally based in his parents’ hometown, Dumfries).
There Dykes began to knuckle down and hit his straps. In 86 league appearances for the Doonhamers, he found the back of the net ten times, often serving as a foil for the prolific Stephen Dobbie.
His form drew the attention of Livingston, who decided to bring the attacker to the wonderfully named Tony Macaroni Arena in early 2019.
In his first season in Scotland’s top flight, Dykes has been far from overawed and has found the back of the net eleven times thus far. He announced himself to the wider footballing world with a wonderful lobbed effort in the aforementioned win versus Celtic, leaving keeper Fraser Forster floundering. A couple of months later he plundered a hat-trick against Ross County, becoming the first Livi player to do so in a top-flight match.
Unsurprisingly, such form has caught the eye of teams south of the border, and Dykes has been heavily linked with several EFL Championship clubs. He remains a Livingston player for the rest of this season, but it seems inevitable that come the reopening of the transfer window, more clubs will come calling.
Adding to the attraction is the fact that Dykes may represent a relatively affordable punt for some clubs. We have all become accustomed to inflated prices in today’s market, but in Scotland, you can still find some ‘bang for your buck’: ask Aston Villa fans if they think they got their money’s worth from the £2million they paid to snare John McGinn from Hibernian in 2018.
A bid in the region of £500,000 would certainly test the resolve of Livingston, with whom Dykes remains contracted until 2022.
Livi has deployed Dykes centrally this season, where he has used his 6’2” frame to good effect. Despite his obvious physicality and aerial prowess, it would be unfair to pigeonhole the striker though; he is starting to add some finesse to his game to compliment his impressive work ethic, and at just 24 years old, should still have his best years ahead of him.
Currently, Livingston sits pretty in fifth place, continuing to punch well above their weight, but Celtic and Rangers both await before the SPL switches into its second phase. Should the talented Aussie enjoy successful afternoons against either of the Old Firm, it should add a little extra to his growing transfer value, and no doubt a few extra suitors too.