Dykes set to opt for Scotland as Australia miss out on striker

Lyndon Dykes at QPR training Source: AAP

Australia’s hopes of luring Lyndon Dykes have all but vanished, with the striker set to be named by Scotland in their UEFA Nations League squad for next month’s clashes against Israel and Czech Republic.

It’s believed the 24-year-old’s $3.5 million switch from Livingston to Queens Park Rangers sparked a sudden change of heart in his international intentions, with Scotland boss Steve Clarke finally getting his man.

A formal announcement could be imminent, despite Dykes declaring late last year “my heart lies with Australia”.

Prior to heading from the Scottish Premiership to the Championship, It appeared Gold Coast-born Dykes was leaning towards the Socceroos in what has been a protracted tug-of-war between the two nations.

But a well-placed source told The World Game on Tuesday: “There has been a U-turn as a result of the move to London.

“Lyndon has to look after his club career and what’s best for him, and that’s what he’s doing.

“There may be a factor thereof QPR giving him the impression that, logistically, it’s better for them that he chooses Scotland because of the distances and time away playing for Australia would involve.

“Obviously, these Nations League games are coming up and you’d expect Steve Clarke to now tie him down.”

The coronavirus has previously scuppered bids by both Clarke and Socceroos coach Graham Arnold to lock down Dykes, with Scotland’s European Championship playoff against Israel and Australia’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Nepal and Kuwait falling victim to the pandemic.

The fact Australia won’t have another FIFA World Cup qualifier until January at the earliest, whilst Scotland have seven games pencilled in between now and mid-November, is another huge factor weighing in favour of Clarke.

And with Scotland bereft of firepower, Dykes - whose parents hail from Dumfries - will likely have every chance to establish himself as a starting player.

Last week Arnold spoke of his ongoing desire to bring Dykes into the fold, but insisted he wouldn’t pressure him.

“I know the decision is a big one for him but I’m not the type of person to put pressure on anybody over such an important matter,” he said.

“It’s up to him and his family to make that choice.

“We’ve had great discussions about what I believe to be best but it’s not about what I believe ... it’s about what the kid believes.”