Saido Berahino was the subject of immense criticism after he told Sky Sports that he was ready for ‘bigger things’ in his playing career. Make no mistake about it, the talented forward has the potential to be an excellent Premier League striker, he just needs to keep his head down and produce consistent, mature performances at a high level before he thinks about moving away from the Hawthorns.
It happens all too often today, young English talent is placed on a pedestal and it takes the right personality to deal with such praise. Harry Kane is a perfect example of how to deal with the plaudits that have come flooding his way. He appreciates the attention but doesn’t let it distract him on the pitch. Kane always gives 100% for Tottenham Hotspur and thrives in the limelight.
Saido Berahino is a different story. He is West Brom’s top goalscorer this season with 16 goals. He has produced some exceptional displays across the season so far. However, his recent comments show that he is far from the type of player Harry Kane is.
It appears that Berahino could be prone to having his head turned due to interest from ‘bigger’ clubs. There is no doubt that the 21-year-old could eventually move to a top Premier League side one day but he needs to keep producing on a consistent basis at West Brom first.
So is Berahino bigger than West Brom? Not a chance. He can’t be blamed for seeking a move away from the Hawthorns when the club was struggling under Alan Irvine. Nevertheless, the appointment of Tony Pulis was something Berahino needed in order to get his West Brom career back on track.
To be fair to the England U-21 international, he has worked hard since he was heavily criticised for the comments he made about his WBA future. He scored an excellent goal against Swansea City in the Premier League and proceeded to celebrate by kissing the West Brom badge. Yes, it’s a little cliché but it shows that his head is in the right place for the immediate future.
Pulis looks like he is getting the best out of the striker and the manager will hope that he can persuade the 21-year-old to stay put for at least another season at the Hawthorns. A formidable strike partnership is developing at the club, with Brown Ideye starting to find the form that earned him the £10 million move from Dynamo Kiev in the summer.
The Nigerian struggled to find the back of the net in the earlier stages of the season but recent form suggests that he is settling into Premier League football rather nicely. His pace and movement works well alongside Berahino, as both players have the potential to cause any defence in the league a few problems.
Baggies fans should look towards Pulis as the reason behind Berahino’s return to form and his new-found commitment to the cause. It is important to keep a young player’s feet firmly on the ground and allow him to enjoy performing well on a regular basis. Flattering players with interest from big clubs always carries positive connotations, but for Berahino, his talent needs to be nurtured furthermore at West Brom before he can take the next step forward in his playing career.