West Brom forward Saido Berahino started the season like a house on fire, earning a call-up to the England senior squad. However, since then disciplinary problems and goal droughts have seen him go off the boil somewhat before picking up again just in time for the transfer window.
The two clubs most heavily linked with him have been Liverpool and Tottenham, with West Brom vowing to accept any offer in the region of £20 million for the player. Although I don’t think he would be a valuable addition to either side. His workrate is poor, he is inconsistent and is still rather unproven for a player hoping to secure a move to a big club.
Berahino’s workrate, or lack of it, has been highlighted by a number of his previous coaches. His build up play still isn’t at the level you would expect of such a highly-touted talent just yet either.
Hard workers required
Brendan Rodgers and Mauricio Pochettino’s style of play at Liverpool and Spurs respectively, places a lot of emphasis on pressing and hard work. Both managers also like players that are solid all-rounders, who can set-up and link play as part of a well drilled unit. Bearing this in mind, Berahino certainly won’t be either's cup of tea.
His disciplinary record is also concerning. Fined for drink driving hours after playing against Manchester United earlier in the season, the young striker could even be sent to prison if all goes wrong in his upcoming court trial.
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Past coaches at West Brom will talk of him behaving poorly and displaying a bad attitude. At such a young age, before the real big money and superstardom has kicked in, this is a bad sign.
Born in Burundi, Berahino fled the war-torn African country at the age of 10 for a new life in Birmingham. His has been a real story of rags to riches and all has happened very fast for the young man.
He is a rough diamond and Rodgers as well as Pochettino, have history in rounding such players into quality but he will need to sort his act out if he is to avoid throwing away a highly promising career.
Liverpool have reportedly already declared they are not interested in acquiring his services and I can’t see him fitting in at Tottenham under the Argentine, who demands so much of his players.
Surely two big clubs chasing Champions League football won’t want to pay such a large sum of money for a player with as much baggage as the England U21 international. He’s a rough diamond as I said before and there will be far cheaper, more mature marksmen in the European market.
You feel Liverpool in particular/ need a marquee signing to replace Luis Suarez after a poor start in front of goal to the season and Berahino surely isn’t anything near that quality. Tottenham have found a goal scorer in local lad Harry Kane and could do with another striker but one who is of better value for money.
It would foolish in the crazy modern market to rule both sides out of potentially making an offer but hopefully they will see sense. Berahino is a very promising young player with undoubted ability but he must mature and improve his all-round game first at West Brom, before making that step up to a big club.
He isn’t ready, so for the sake of his career, I hope he sees that and takes the sensible decision (if given one) to stay at West Brom if any lucrative offers come in.