With Newcastle in desperate need of a proven goalscorer we look at 'want-away' West Brom striker Saido Berahino and what he could bring to Tyneside.
First of all we have to look at his attitude. It’s been just over a year since the lad was called up for England against Slovenia. At that time Saido was on an upward, meteoric trajectory to stardom and the promised land of establishing himself as one of England’s foremost club and young international forwards.
Roll on to today and young Berahino has even been outed by his own manager for turning up for training late and not being ‘part of the group’. The catalyst was his failed move to Spurs last summer which left the lad in such a rage he ‘officially” swore never to play for West Brom again (well, the West Brom Chairman at least).
His attitude since then, quite frankly, stinks.
Let's have a little look at what Pulis has had to say even in very recent times......
“He’s lucky to be on the bench today never mind starting. Sometimes things go on at football clubs that you people don’t see and don’t realise. He’s a smashing lad but he lets himself down at times” (Before the Newcastle game a couple of weeks ago)
“The important this is that he recognises the other 24 players are turning up on time, and he has to turn up on time as well” (1st January 2016)
One thing you have to say for Tony Pulis is the man can manage people very well, yet you get the feeling even he has struggled with Saido Berahino.
At 22 years old he is of course a very young man, obviously very ambitions, and therefore there is time for him to mature. But for now at least there would have to be huge question marks against his personality and especially with the pressure that would come with facing a relegation battle should he join NUFC.
So what of Berahino the footballer?
Having been with West Brom since a school boy he has come through the ranks with impressive speed. The club have also managed his career very well with stints at Nothampton, Brentford and Peterborough as well as good exposure to the Premier League U21 and reserve leagues, enjoying success wherever he has been (27 goals in 62 games).
He made his senior debut for West Brom as an 84th minute substitute in a 4-2 League Cup win over Yeovil Town in August 2012. His full debut would not come until a year later however (following loan periods), but he would be an instant hit scoring a hat-trick in a 3-0 home win over Newport County. Saido would score 11 goals in 36 games that season.
The lad has pace, power and an instinct for goal that comes very naturaly. He's also shown he can find a way to goal even when not playing for a top 6 club.
His goal scoring prowess would be demonstrated even further in 14/15 scoring 20 goals in 45 games before his ill-fated £15m transfer to Spurs turned his promising career into on long tantrum.
At International level he never did get the nod after being called up more than a year ago. The well documented lack of games for West Prom would see to that. At the junior levels of International football he has a great record however with 24 goals in 47 games.
OUR VERDICT: The lad undoubtedly is a huge talent, but has just as much attitude. With only one good full season in the Premier League to his name he can’t be classed as a proven striker either in our view. Young and English certainly goes in his favour but a huge gamble. In our view we’d be looking elsewhere first if Berahino is actually an option, and only call on this one if we can’t find anything else. At least he knows where the goal is!!