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West Brom were the winners from £12 million Stoke City deal

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Saido Berahino was a star for West Brom in the 2014-15 season, scoring 20 goals in 45 appearances.

It seemed that all was well, and mid-table Albion would receive a huge fee for a player who, at the time, was a young talent just at the beginning of what seemed to be a fruitful career.

Unfortunately for both the Baggies and Berahino, things didn’t turn out this way. A string of poor performances, along with off-field conduct issues, eventually led to the forward being sold to Staffordshire side Stoke City in January 2017.

The £12 million fee that West Brom received at the time might have seemed low, but in hindsight, it turned out to be a great deal, with the former England under-21 star never quite fulfilling his potential.

Saido Berahino looked like a potential future star at West Brom

Berahino against Watford

Having come through West Brom’s academy, Saido Berahino was very much touted to be a future star for the Baggies.

After several successful loan spells at various Football League clubs, the Burundi-born striker returned to the Hawthorns, aiming to establish himself as a first-team player.

Manager at the time, Steve Clarke, gave Berahino his opportunity, and the striker duly took it.

A late winner at Old Trafford was the highlight of a successful breakthrough campaign in which he contributed nine goals in 35 appearances. Berahino’s performances earned him a new contract, extending his deal until June 2017.

The following year, he really took off and cemented himself as West Brom’s first-choice striker, adding another 20 goals to his tally.

Despite his clear on-pitch abilities, Berahino was nothing less than chaos off it.

Having been charged with drunk driving multiple times and taking part in an interview in which he stated his ambition to ‘move onto bigger things’, West Brom decided they would listen to offers for him, demanding £25 million plus.

Tottenham interest seemingly turned Saido Berahino’s head

Saido Berahino and Otamendi

For many, these life issues for Berahino would deter them from buying him.

However, Tottenham had a manager with a proven record of nurturing young players in Mauricio Pochettino, so they decided to enter the race and bid for West Brom’s number nine. Multiple bids were received by the Baggies, but nothing met their valuation.

While this was all going on, Berahino tweeted that he would never play for them again, before deciding to go on strike. The strike didn’t last long, but for Berahino, the damage was done. Another tumultuous 18 months was spent at The Hawthorns, scoring a meager four goals in that period and serving an eight-week suspension for failing a drugs test.

Finally, for Berahino and Albion, the spell ended with Stoke putting in a £12 million bid, which was promptly accepted. Tony Pulis, the West Brom manager at the time, had this to say about the attacker: “I’ve spent two and a half years at this club, and he’s not my problem anymore. I wish him all the best.”

Saido Berahino’s career tailed off at Stoke CityUntitled design (57)-1

Having splashed out an eight-figure fee on the forward, Stoke still had high hopes that Berahino could return to his best and prove that he is a Premier League forward.

In truth, though, the deal was a real letdown for the Potters, and West Brom seemingly received a great fee for a player who struggled to replicate his early form.

During his one-and-a-half seasons in the Premier League with the Staffordshire outfit, Berahino was unable to add to his goalscoring tally, playing 28 games and providing just one assist.

It was not what either the club or the player had envisaged, and at the end of the 2017/18 season, the club was relegated with Berahino watching from the stands due to further disciplinary issues.

A season in the Championship followed, but the form never returned, and another arrest for drunk driving in February 2019 ended the forward’s time at Stoke with his contract being terminated by mutual consent.

Stoke’s inability to address Berahino’s off-field issues was a problem, costing them a significant sum of money and was symptomatic of a period at the club where they made seemingly clueless investments in players.

Saido Berahino’s Career Stats – as per Transfermarkt
Club Games Played Goals Assists
West Brom 121 36 8
Stoke City 56 5 2
AEL Limassol 44 4 1
Sheffield Wednesday 36 9 4
SV Zulte Waregem 34 10 4
Charleroi 17 2 0
Northampton Town (Loan) 15 6 1
Peterborough United (Loan) 10 2 2
Brentford (Loan) 8 4 0

Saido Berahino deal was one that West Brom did well from

Since leaving Stoke, it hasn’t gotten much better for the striker, who has been at various clubs but found a home hard to come by.

Stints in Belgium and an average season at Sheffield Wednesday haven’t set him back on his path to stardom, and now he resides at Cypriot team AEL Limassol, managing just four goals in his 44 appearances for them.

In hindsight, West Brom must look at the deal they got for their number nine as a superb bit of business.

Yes, the talent Berahino had could have taken him to much better levels than them, but his demeanor and attitude towards football cost the former England youth international dearly.

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