Is Saido Berahino good enough for England?

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Saido Berahino is the latest young English talent tipped to win his first England cap over the next couple of months.

The West Bromwich Albion striker has been in good form so far this season, netting five times in six games and many are calling for Roy Hodgson to give him a first call-up to the national side.

After Fabian Delph's call-up for the last two international games, should Berahino be given the chance to show off his talent on the world stage?

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The Burundi-refugee has played for England from U16 level and is now an established member of the U21 squad, netting nine goals in 11 games for the young Lions. 

This type of form certainly suggests that he could make the step up, and with England's next game at home to European minnows San Marino on 9 October, it could be the perfect opportunity to award him his first cap and see if he can shine in front of the Wembley crowd.

The England manager picked four forwards in his 22-man squad for September's home friendly with Norway and away Euro 2016 qualifier at Switzerland; Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck and Rickie Lambert.

Different options

But is there enough room for an extra forward in that squad? Has the young Baggie done enough to dismantle one of those strikers from the squad completely? His goalscoring form in the Premier League certainly suggests so.

With Rickie Lambert only making brief, cameo substitute appearance at new club Liverpool, he has had little chance to impress.

Many would argue though, that despite this, Lambert offers something alternative to the England team, much like Andy Carroll and Peter Crouch have done in the past.

Hodgson experimented with a 4-4-2 diamond formation against Switzerland and it looked to be very effective. This means there are two striking positions up for grabs.


Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has been out injured for most of September, Danny Welbeck has only netted once for Arsenal and there is an option for Wayne Rooney to play at the head of the diamond just behind two strikers, so there is certainly a space for Berahino if Hodgson decides to be bold and throw him in.

Most England fans when they saw the squad for the past two international games would have had mixed opinions. No Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard meant some of the younger players could have the chance to impress - a fresh start in some respect.

Whilst others would have noticed the lack of experience, particularly in the midfield areas and perhaps worried about the next two years of qualifiers. 

However, Delph came in and was excellent and Jordan Henderson and Jack Wilshere looked composed and ready to step up to fill the voids left by Gerrard and Lampard.

Talented prospect

There is no reason why Berahino should not be called-up due to his form so far this season. Two well-taken goals at home to Burnley on Sunday took his tally to five for the season, making him the highest English scorer in the Premier League.

Michael Owen was just 18-years-old when he featured for England at France '98, and who can forget that incredible solo-effort in the last-16 against Argentina in Saint Etienne.

It's about time players should be judged on form rather than the club side that they play for. Berahino may not play for a top four side, but he has certainly added goals to a West Brom side tipped for relegation this season under new manager, Alan Irvine. 

Get him into the squad for the San Marino game and give him a run-out, see what he can do. He has the potential to become a top player if he plays regularly in the Premier League and by introducing him to the international stage at just 21-years-old will give him experience and more confidence to continue what he is doing very well so far this season.

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West Bromwich Albion
Fabian Delph
England Football
Saido Berahino
Premier League

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