Liverpool set to do Tottenham a huge transfer favor


Reports have surfaced that Liverpool is set to beat Tottenham to the signing of troubled West Brom forward Saido Berahino

The biggest strength of Tottenham under manager Mauricio Pochettino has been the collective spirit and unity of the squad. Bringing in a diva like West Brom forward Saido Berahino would risk upsetting that delicate balance. Fortunately for Tottenham, Liverpool look set to outbid the lily whites for the talented, but troubled, striker.

Reports out of Spain claim that Liverpool is closing in on a purchase of Berahino for a price in excess of 23 million pounds. Some Spurs fans might regard this as a blow to the club’s transfer plans, but I’d contend that it is actually a blessing in disguise.

Berahino’s time this season for West Brom has been troubled at best. He and manager Tony Pulis have continually bumped heads over the player’s alleged lack of focus. Pulis may not be handling Berahino the correct way, but it’s clear that something is wrong with the pacy attacker’s form.

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He simply has too much talent to only have three goals in 14 matches. His player rating on the season is also an abysmal 6.39. No matter what the explanation, Berahino’s play has only been quite poor compared to his breakout season in 2014-15. There’s a reason that West Brom have seemingly changed their philosophy on the young striker and made him available in January.

Whatever club purchases Berahino in January is going to be taking a significant risk. They’ll be getting the player at a steep discount based on his talent level, but he could be a locker room cancer. It will represent a significant risk for the chemistry of the purchasing club.

It might prove to be a risk worth taking for Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp is still building the side in his first season in charge so it will be easier for him to bring in a challenging personality. He has less at stake than a more established manager with a more established team and higher season expectations. He can afford a transfer mistake.

The same can’t be said for Mauricio Pochettino. While some would argue that it would be safer to bring Berahino into a more established locker room like Tottenham’s, I would argue that it isn’t worth the risk for the North London club.

Tottenham is punching above its talent weight at the moment and that’s because the squad is all on the same page. Upsetting that delicate balance with a possible “me first” player like Berahino could crash the entire project. Pochettino has been diligent in shipping off players who don’t buy in to the club philosophy no matter their talent level.

Emmanuel Adebayor is still being paid by the club not to show up and Andros Townsend is rumored to be off in January. Bringing in another potential problem-child like Berahino wouldn’t be a very logical transfer move for Tottenham.

Fortunately for Pochettino, it looks like Liverpool is set to beat them to the punch. Berahino will be their trash or treasure in January while Tottenham will be forced to search elsewhere for another striker. Chances are they can find one without the off the field baggage that Berahino would bring.