Thursday, March 30, 2017

Stoke attempt to sign Saido Berahino

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 10 Jan 2017

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Stoke have reportedly bid for out-of-favour West Brom striker Saido Berahino

According to Sky Sports, Stoke City have made a bid to sign West Brom’s out-of-favour striker Saido Berahino.

The bid is believed to be far less than the £20million the Baggies turned down 18 months ago from Tottenham.

It would not be a major surprise to see Berahino leave the Midlands club this month, as his career has taken a massive downward turn in recent months.

The downturn started when the striker refused to play for West Brom under Baggies chairman Jeremy Peace after Spurs bid was rejected.

The striker apologised for the incident soon afterwards and eventually he returned to the first team squad. However, he has been missing from the Baggies squad for a long time now.

The 23-year-old’s contract with the Midlands club expires in the summer. The Baggies are have offered him a new contract worth £60,000 per week according to the Daily Telegraph. However, it seems the striker is keen to move on in the near future. If he leaves in the summer West Brom will receive just a small compensation payment for the forward.

Missing since September

Berahino has not been in the West Brom squad since September 17th when he played just over an hour in a 4-2 home win over West Ham. He has not been injured in recent months, but according to Baggies boss Tony Pulis, he is not fit enough to play games.

The striker had been sent to specialists in France earlier this season to get him fit and ready to play. However, still, he remains outside the first team squad at the Hawthorns. The striker does not seem to be close to a return to action at West Brom.

Fortunately for the Baggies, they are doing fine without him at the moment. They are comfortably midtable and odds of 4/5 to clinch a top-ten finish this season.

Needs a change to resurrect his career

Saido Berahino is in serious need of a change. The striker was once highly rated and Spurs were desperate to sign him. Yet here he is out of the Baggies squad because quite simply he is not fit enough to play football.

Berahino recently scored twice for the Baggies under-23 side in a 3-3 draw with Aston Villa and was praised by coach Jimmy Shan after the game.  He looked sharp and the game illustrated many of his positives as well as a negative, as he missed a good chance to score his hat-trick.

On his day he is a very talented young guy, but his mental frame of mind needs to be right. He comes across as arrogant, which is fine and well if you are producing on the pitch. If not then arrogance just becomes an annoying trait.

Stoke the frontrunners for the striker

It says a lot about where Berahino’s career is at when Stoke are now the favourites for his signature. The striker has gone from being linked with Spurs who are challenging for the title, to Stoke who are likely to finish midtable this season in 18 months.

Stoke boss Mark Hughes is reportedly a huge admirer of Berahino’s ability. Whether his reported poor attitude would be appreciated in the Potteries is another matter completely.

However, Stoke has become the Premier League home of the inconsistent maverick. Already on the Potters books are Marko Arnautovic, a player with immense talent on his day, but who is highly inconsistent.

Then there is Xherdan Shaqiri, who is arguably even more talented than Arnautovic, again though highly inconsistent. On his day he can be fantastic to watch and produce brilliant moments. However, those days have been rare of late for the Swiss star.

Not forgetting former Barcelona star Bojan. See the description of the previous two. The Spaniard has actually struggled to get into the Potters team at times this season.

Whether it is wise for Hughes to add another temperamental personality to his squad is questionable. His team have been much like a lot of their star players this season, inconsistent.

SPL club Rangers have also been linked with a move for Berahino. However, it seems more likely the striker will remain in the Premier League.

A move to Stoke may not be a dream one. However, it would give the striker the chance to play regular first-team football, instead of rotting away in the West Brom under-23 side until the summer.

Saido Berahino still has time to rescue is career from the gutter, but it may well take a move elsewhere to re-ignite the seemingly troubled forward.

Should Saido Berahino join Stoke this month?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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