The career of Stoke City striker Saido Berahino lurches from one disaster to the next.
While Stoke were battling to a 1-1 draw against West Ham United on Monday, Berahino was in action for the club’s Under-23s, appearing in a 5-1 defeat to Brighton’s youth team.
Berahino scored Stoke’s only goal but it won’t be enough to convince Paul Lambert to bring him back into the first-team fold.
The 24-year-old has been exiled due to poor timekeeping and even worse levels of effort as a once promising career goes to waste.
According to the Daily Mail, Berahino has been fined £1,500 on more than one occasion for being late.
“Paul is just not seeing enough from him and won’t make an exception,” a source told the newspaper.
It’s a sorry situation for a player who was once considered ahead of Harry Kane by current England boss Gareth Southgate.
Nearly sacked in 2012
In September 2013, shortly before scoring the winner as a 20-year-old for West Bromwich Albion against Manchester United, Southgate picked Berahino ahead of Kane in an England Under-21 match.
It was in 2017 that Berahino left West Brom for Stoke but the Baggies considered getting rid of the striker much, much earlier.
Berahino spent the second half of the 2011-12 season on loan at Brentford, where signs that he may not have the required attitude to succeed at the highest level emerged.
According to the Mail, Berahino very often got bored in his hotel during his time with The Bees.
He would host parties, and Brentford officials were “stunned” when they saw tequila sunrises on Berahino’s room tab.
Berahino’s room is said to have been a “repulsive mess” after one particular night, leaving cleaning staff disgusted.
Brentford decided to end Berahino’s loan spell prematurely and the episode nearly cost the player his job. Dan Ashworth, then West Brom’s technical director, discussed sacking the forward, who was 18 at the time.
This all came before Berahino failed a recreational drugs test, for which he served an eight-week ban in 2016.
“There were a couple of occasions during his expulsion from the game when he was vulnerable and clearly lonely,” a friend told the Mail.
Berahino’s move to Stoke was viewed as a chance to reignite his career, but it appears he was always destined to fail.
His decline has been nothing short of remarkable – the same word that can be used to describe Berahino’s £75,000-per-week wages at the Bet365 Stadium.