In his attempts to develop into a top class striker, this season has certainly stunted Saido Berahino’s progress.
The 23-year-old was sent to a conditioning camp in France in November after being ruled unfit by West Brom manager Tony Pulis.
And it would later emerge that Berahino’s time in France was also spent hiding an eight-week suspension he was serving for a failed drugs test.
For a player who had aspirations of signing for Tottenham Hotspur in 2015, joining Stoke City in January probably wasn’t part of his plan.
But Berahino was ready for a fresh start at the bet365 Stadium.
"I've had a tough two years but everything happens for a reason. I'm mentally stronger now," Berahino said, via BBC Sport.
"Now I am finally here I just can't wait to start. For Stoke to show their faith in me is unbelievable," he added.
Season to forget
More than two months into Berahino’s Stoke career and we’re still awaiting his first goal. Heck, we’re still awaiting his first 90 minute appearance.
It’s safe to say this has been a season to forget for the former England Under-21 player.
Berahino tested positive for a recreational drug but his ban was kept hidden due to FA regulations.
But the striker’s cover was blown by the Daily Mail.
Berahino insists he's innocent
Berahino has spoken about the incident for the first time in an interview with BBC Football Focus, and he insists that he had done nothing wrong and that his drink was spiked in a nightclub.
“To be banned for something you really haven't done is hard to take,” Berahino said, per the Mail.
“You go on a night out, you don't know who you are around and there are people who are out to get you.
“Of course, I was in a nightclub, so I hold my hand up for being irresponsible. From then on it all crashed down.
“To this day, I still cannot understand who would want to do that to me.”
Fans on Twitter aren't buying Berahino's claims
Let down by West Brom
Although Pulis and West Brom kept Berahino’s drug suspension secret, Berahino still feels as though the club didn’t do enough to help him.
“No one protected me at that club. It was hard not doing what I really love — that's what killed me the most,” he added.
“I was depressed. Every morning I walked into the training ground, I didn't want to be there.”