Saido Berahino Needs to Escape West Brom

Photo Credit: Warwick Gastinger via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Warwick Gastinger via Wikimedia Commons /

West Brom striker Saido Berahino was the subject of a very ugly and public transfer negotiation between Tottenham and West Brom last summer. Berahino was quite disappointed when the move didn’t come off and flirted with the idea of boycotting the club. Perhaps he should have, because he might need a transfer in January more than any other Premier League player.

While I don’t believe that Berahino really should have boycotted West Brom I did understand where the young striker was coming from. He felt as if he’d outgrown West Brom and wanted to take his talents to a more high-profile club with larger ambitions. He should’ve kept his mouth shut and handled the matter more privately, but his philosophy wasn’t wrong.

It didn’t work though and he’s still a West Brom player. His output this year hasn’t been what either he or the club would have liked. His play has been pretty average. He’s only bagged three goals on the season and his rating is slightly north of 6.5. These are not the numbers you’d expect to see for a player whose transfer price was rumored to be in excess of 20M.

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In fairness to Berahino though, it might not be his fault. I’m not sure how many goals Sergio Aguero would score with the West Brom supporting cast. The only attacking player with a Whoscored rating over 7 on the year is journeymen Stephane Sessegnon and he’s only done so in four appearances. This is not a high-octane attack.

Berahino is the type of player that needs talent around him to truly flourish. He is a relatively small attacking player who relies more on pace and skill than physicality.

He can finish from distance, but would be most effective taking advantage of through balls and/or space created by quality attacking midfielders. West Brom just doesn’t have this type of quality.

Quite honestly, if I was Saido Berahino I’d be concerned that I was going to turn out to be more like Frazier Campbell or Dwight Gayle than Sergio Aguero or Anthony Martial. He must move quickly if he’s going to avoid being lumped into the category with other fast strikers that are a dime-a-dozen in the Premier League. He’s more talented than that label, but he must be careful he doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

Berahino also must think of his International future. If he isn’t in-form scoring goals he’s not going to continue to progress through the England set-up. He had great chemistry with Harry Kane in the England U21 setup, but the two are in vastly different places now.

Kane is the number one striker for the senior squad and Berahino isn’t even sniffing that team. Just goes to show you how much difference a club can make for a player trying to advance their career.

Berahino needs to get on the phone with his agent and start agitating for a move. He doesn’t need to move to Tottenham specifically, but he should push to find a more talented team. He needs to align himself with an offensive-minded squad with other young talented attackers.

That could be the difference between languishing at West Brom for the next five years and watching England’s next World Cup on television or flourishing in a new home and playing for England’s senior team.