Remember when everyone briefly thought that Saido Berahino possessed the talent to play for one of the Premier League’s top clubs as well as the England national team?
It feels like a lifetime ago since the 2014-15 campaign, when the Burundi-born striker scored 20 goals in 45 appearances for West Brom.
Fourteen of those goals were registered in the Premier League, but he’s only managed to net a pitiful four goals in England’s top division in the three years since.
All four of those goals were scored the following season - and in February of this year, he reached two full years without netting a competitive goal.
To say that Berahino’s career has taken a nose-dive over the past few seasons would be a gross understatement. His dip in form feels almost unprecedented.
Somehow the 24-year-old still finds himself getting minutes at Stoke City, who forked out £12 million for his services in January 2017 and haven’t been repaid for their investment with so much as a single goal.
He came on for the relegation-threatened Potters with 30 minutes remaining of last weekend’s match against Arsenal but, needless to say, he failed to make an impact.
Berahino's career has taken another turn for the worse
Stoke boss Paul Lambert recently put Berahino on a special programme to improve his physical condition after admitting the striker wasn’t up to his levels of fitness on arrival at the club in January.
But news has now emerged which surely leaves Berahino’s career at the Bet365 Stadium in severe jeopardy.
Per the Telegraph, the much-maligned forward has been banished to Stoke’s Under-23 side after infuriating Lambert with his time-keeping.
The report states that Berahino turned up late for Stoke’s Under-23 match against Aston Villa on Easter Monday after being instructed to arrive at the club’s Clayton Wood training ground at 9:15am.
Berahino surely won't be a PL player for much longer
The former England Under-21 still ended up playing 64 minutes in the game but was ordered to train with the Under-23s on Thursday as punishment.
It remains unclear whether Lambert has any intention of using Berahino in the first team again this season.
Even if Stoke manage to avoid relegation to the Championship this season, it’s hard to imagine a scenario whereby Berahino is still a Premier League footballer come the start of next season.
In order to resurrect his career he may need to drop down to England’s second tier or consider a move to another league.
In any case, Stoke will surely be keen to offload the forward, who will be remembered as one of the club's worst every signings unless things change.
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