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Who now has the power: West Brom or Saido Berahino?

With transfer fees and wages seemingly rising ever higher as clubs desperately jostle for supremacy, the idea of player power is increasingly discussed in the modern game.

It is thought that the stars of the day now call all the shots, as even the biggest clubs are manipulated by them and their agents.

This summer however, a couple of much-discussed, high-profile transfers failed to materialise despite the subject willing them to go through.

Saido Berahino is one such man. Who now holds the strongest cards in the stand-off between the forward and his club West Bromwich Albion? Who is prime position to dictate the player’s future?

Berahino is seen as a rising star in the Premier League and ticks all the boxes which culminate in a high valuation.

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Young, English and a goalscorer, it is reported that Tottenham tabled numerous bids for his services, including a couple in the final hours of the window.

The money on offer though, was not deemed sufficient by Albion and the move floundered.The player responded by allowing his frustration to spill over on social media, where he openly criticised the club for their treatment of him and appeared to vow never to turn out again for the Baggies under chairman Jeremy Peace.

The result is that while West Brom have successfully fended off interest in their star forward, there have been consequences.

They are left with a player filled with both resentment and disappointment. The 22 year old has not featured in any of the last three games, with manager Tony Pulis viewing the effects of the transfer fiasco as disruptive.

It appears then, that in keeping the player against his wishes, Albion now find themselves in a position the same or potentially worse than if they had lost him.

The Burundi-born man is refusing to play, his relationship with the club’s board in tatters. Even if he was happy to take to the field, there is no guarantee that he would perform, given the psychological effects of the transfer saga.

The player’s value will also plummet as the end of his contract will be five months closer when the next opportunity to sell him arises. If he is excluded from playing, self imposed or otherwise, that will also see his price tag reduce.

Despite all of this, when the dust settles on the closure of the transfer window, the Baggies can be assured that they are in control of the situation.

Player power on this occasion has failed for a variety of reasons.

Firstly, the striker is under contract at the Hawthorns until 2017. That would be a long time for any player to commit himself to a footballing exile.

Berahino is young but a Premier League career is far too short to waste any of it trying to prove a point.

He has thrown his toys from the pram before by announcing that he wanted to play for a bigger club after contract talks stalled in light of poor conduct. Albion have successfully now refused to be bullied by both the player and more recently, Spurs.

Secondly, the striker’s actions have seen a swell of opinion, from not only Albion fans, but also the general football public, backing the club on their position regarding the situation.

Berahino has been labeled stroppy, greedy and immature. If there is to be reconciliation, it will almost certainly need to be the player that gets the ball rolling.

Furthermore the club put a contingency plan in place during the transfer window with Salomon Rondon arriving for £12 million.

The Venezuelan appeared initially to have been signed as a replacement for Berahino and is already off the mark in the league, but with Rondon already on board before Spurs late Berahino bids, Jeremy Peace stood firm on his asking price; a sign that the club do not desperately need the money they could raise by selling him.

Talks between player and club are scheduled with Berahino on extended leave until then.

Tony Pulis has put the blame on Spurs for unsettling his star and has suggested that he now has a repair job on hand in order to bring the player back into the fold.

Behind the scenes though, it may well be the forward who has most repairing to do.

He has already been fined for his online outburst and will need to realise, that on this occasion, he might need to swallow his pride and move on from his disappointment for the sake of his career.

Article title: Who now has the power: West Brom or Saido Berahino?

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