West Bromwich Albion’s transfer business in recent years has been far from exemplary, but there’s one deal for which the club’s hierarchy will gain praise for many years to come.
Back in the summer of 2015, the Midlands outfit turned down multiple bids for star striker Saido Berahino after the youngster had bagged an incredible 20 goals in all competitions throughout the previous campaign.
Fellow Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur were desperate to secure the forward’s signature in the run-up to the August deadline, but no deal could be agreed between the two clubs.
Berahino, who had cost West Brom nothing in transfer fees having come up through the youth academy, reacted badly after learning that his dream move had been blocked, tweeting that would never play for chairman Jeremy Peace again before going on strike.
Tony Pulis was appointed as the Baggies’ new manager midway through the speedster’s breakthrough season at The Hawthorns and attempted to bring him back into the fold before slowly losing patience.
The Welsh tactician later claimed that Berahino’s fitness and mental levels were not right after West Brom managed to secure a very healthy £12.51m fee for his services courtesy of Stoke City in January 2017.
It was later reported that the Burundi international served an eight-week FA suspension at the end of his time at The Hawthorns for failing a drugs test, capping off a terrible final few years at his boyhood club.
Berahino’s career offered so much promise in its early stages, with 10 goals in just 11 outings for England’s under-21s illustrating his truly top-class potential, but several bad decisions in a short space of time ensured that he never reached the heights which once seemed inevitable.
It took him 35 appearances to register his first goal at Stoke, by which time they had been relegated from the Premier League, and he would score just four more goals for the club before being released in June 2019, a month after being convicted for drink driving.
The now 28-year-old spent time in Belgium following his Stoke exit, featuring for Zulte Waregem and RSC Charleroi, before returning to English shores with League One outfit Sheffield Wednesday over the summer.
However, he has never shown the form which almost earned him a move to Spurs six years ago, proving that West Brom struck gold over his transfer by earning themselves a sizeable fee for a player who was already in decline.