If Berahino is dead set on Spurs, Tottenham should embrace him


West Brom forward Saido Berahino is reportedly prepared to turn down all offers to force a move to Tottenham

It feels like West Brom forward Saido Berahino has been linked with Tottenham forever. Most Spurs fans, myself included, have had their opinion on acquiring Berahino turn sour due to the starlet’s attitude issues. The idea that he might have his heart set on a Tottenham move certainly changes my perception of the young man.

If he really is willing to turn down all offers other than Spurs, as reported by The Sun, then I’ll change my mind about wanting him at the club. It doesn’t excuse the way he’s acted over the past six months at West Brom, but it does change my confidence in his willingness to play hard for Mauricio Pochettino.

The question about Berahino has never been about his on the field ability. He was a prolific goal scorer last year for West Brom with 14 on the season. That’s a terrific return for a then 21-year-old striker in the Premier League.

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Attitude issues after his failure to secure a move to Tottenham in the summer have caused many Spurs fans to question the young striker. He clearly hasn’t been the same player for the Baggies this year, although he’s still managed to contribute three goals in 15 appearances. His effort level has been widely questioned and his body language on the field has been terrible at times.

The willingness of West Brom manager Ton Pulis to publicly criticize Berahino in the press hasn’t helped anyone’s perception of the England U21 star either. Whether it be real frustration or a motivational ploy on behalf of the manager, it’s certainly hurt the perception of Berahino in the public.

All of his added up to push Berahino on the periphery of Tottenham’s transfer plans. Rumors have heated up about a variety of other striker targets in recent weeks, but talk of a Berahino move has never fully gone away. In recent days, the rumor mill has even linked Berahino stronger with other clubs like Liverpool and Sunderland than Tottenham.

Then came today’s news that Berahino may be prepared to snub all other Premier League clubs to force a move specifically to Tottenham. Whether or not this is true remains to be seen, but it changes my feelings on the player moving to White Hart Lane pretty drastically.

If he truly is dead-set on a Tottenham move then the logical question is why. The only reasonable answer is that he sees himself as a perfect fit in Mauricio Pochettino’s project at the club. He certainly has a relationship with Harry Kane from their days together on England youth teams that doesn’t hurt either.

Furthermore, you can safely assume that he believes Pochettino is the man who can improve his game the most. That would be a pretty reasonable assumption on behalf of Berahino. The Argentine has shown a proclivity to play young players with truly awesome results. Berahino likely feels he could be the next in line for Tottenham’s parade of youthful stars.

If he is that passionate about Tottenham and it being the right club for him then I think Spurs should move ahead with the purchase. It wouldn’t be a transfer without risk given how poorly he’s gotten along this season at West Brom, but we can’t forget that Berahino is only 22-years-old. He’s still learning how to be a professional.

The upside of a Berahino transfer is much larger than the potential risk. On his day, he can be an unplayable goal-scoring threat and he’d give Pochettino a real Plan B behind Harry Kane. He would give Tottenham the backup striker it desperately needs. A happy and engaged Berahino off the bench could mean an immense difference in where Tottenham finishes in the Premier League table.

Don’t forget that Berahino isn’t likely to command a fee near the 25 million pounds West Brom was looking for in the summer. His stock has dipped significantly since then. His price will be further depressed by only having 18 months left on his current contract. It’s entirely possible he could be had for a fee closer to 15 million pounds which isn’t a huge number in today’s transfer market.

Saido Berahino would be a risky, controversial purchase for Tottenham, but if he’s focused only on Spurs it would be worth the risk. Premier League titles aren’t won by always making the safe choice. After all, To Dare is To Do.