West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino looks to be finally allowed to leave the Hawthorns this summer with the Midlands outfit set to sign West Ham United’s Diafra Sakho.
The 26-year-old should be confirmed a West Brom player in the next 48 hours according to reports, and will break Albion’s transfer record in the process. Nevertheless, the news will be met with joy from the want-away Berahino.
Why does Berahino want out of West Brom?
Tottenham Hotspur wanted Saido Berahino back in the summer of 2015, but saw their interest rebuffed by the club chairman Jeremy Peace. The decision to reject the bids left Berahino famously angry, and his refusal to play for the club while Peace remain chairman led to an underwhelming season.
Berahino scored four goals in 31 Premier appearances last season, but made just 17 starts. The 22-year-old looked short of fitness after apologising and returning to the Albion first-team, but supporters continued to question why Peace wouldn’t just set the unhappy player.
At the time, the lure of Tottenham Hotspur comes with the chance of challenging for major trophies, as well as boosting his chances of an England call-up if he was performing well at White Hart Lane. But turning out for a struggling West Bromwich Albion side risked turning his career stagnant.
West Brom making a U-turn on Berahino now they’ve replaced him?
West Bromwich Albion’s pursuit of West Ham United’s Diafra Sakho is very significant. The Senegalese international has a similar skill-set to Berahino. Diminutive, pacey and a ruthless finisher when in-form, Sakho will be a good poacher type for Albion this season.
He will need good support due to his lack of strength coming up against defenders, but will offer the same threat as Berahino had done in his 12 years with the Midlands outfit. Sakho has plenty of Premier League experience but was seeking out of Upton Park as a result of a poor relationship with manager Slaven Bilic.
Stoke City and Crystal Palace are the two sides leading the chase for Saido Berahino, while Tottenham Hotspur no longer consider the Englishman as a viable target. Given Spurs finished third in the Premier League last season, and will be in the Champions League this term, Berahino will perhaps have even more resentment for West Brom for missing out on a big move.
Berahino is 10/11 to join Crystal Palace this summer. So are West Brom finally letting him leave?