Saido Berahino’s career has just hit an embarrassing new low

Chelsea v Stoke City - Premier League

There was a point, around three or four years ago, when Saido Berahino genuinely looked like a future England number nine.

That might sound utterly bizarre now but it’s true.

The striker, whose weekly wage was increased from £850 to £10,000 in November 2013, netted 20 goals in all competitions for West Brom during the 2014-15 campaign - 14 of which came in the Premier League - and he was being linked with a host of top clubs in the media.

But for whatever reason - whether he lost hunger after earning more money, whether his confidence deserted him, or whether it was a combination of both those things - Berahino hasn’t looked the same player since.

Despite the fact he couldn’t hit a barn door during his final couple of seasons with West Brom, Stoke City shelled out £12 million for his services in January 2017.

It was undoubtedly a gamble by Stoke’s then manager Mark Hughes, who revealed that Berahino had served an eight-week suspension after failing an out-of-competition drugs test, but the Welsh coach clearly felt the striker just needed a change of scenery.

Unfortunately he couldn’t have been more wrong.

Watford v Stoke City - Premier League

Fourteen months later and Berahino is still yet score his first goal for the Potters.

Yep, in 28 appearances for the club, Stoke’s number nine has failed to hit the back of the net.

Berahino has gone two years without scoring

In fact, last weekend marked two years since Berahino last scored in a senior competitive fixture.

A truly embarrassing and damning statistic.

Berahino's career hits embarrassing new low

And if Berahino thought his week couldn’t get any worse - what with being mercilessly mocked on the internet following that two-year anniversary - he was sorely mistaken.

The 24-year-old has now been informed by his current manager, Paul Lambert, that he is not fit enough to play for Stoke.

Chelsea v Stoke City - Premier League

Shocking.

"He's not up to my level of fitness," Lambert has been quoted as saying by Sky Sports. "He's a fit lad, but there's got to be more to it, that he's got to work on.

"I have told him that, so he knows the situation and what I'm explaining. I think he's been really good with me working away at it, but it has to come from him as well.

"We have given him a wee programme to stick to as well. We're in a situation where we need everyone to perform when they're called upon."

Stoke City v Brighton and Hove Albion - Premier League

He added: "I think he's [Berahino] an absolutely fantastic, incredible finisher, but you need a bit more at times.

"He worked hard last week and he's worked hard since, but it's just whether I think he's fit enough to stake a claim for it. I don't think he's up to the levels he should be.

"He's going to have to earn the right to get into the side and he's going to have to work for it. I don't think you can create it … it (finishing) is just a gift, but you've got to work."

Berahino’s career has well and truly reached an embarrassing new low.

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