The name, Saido Berahino, is probably one that now sends shivers down the spine of all West Bromwich Albion fans and it seems the now failed player still isn’t done with blaming everyone else, and anything he can think of, for his failed move to Tottenham Hotspur all those years ago. Given his subsequent utter failure at Stoke City, I guess that’s our fault as well.
He’s certainly blaming us for the way his career went totally off the tracks, but he seems oblivious to the fact that it may have had something to do with him.
Even fans with a semi-reliable memory will know our former Academy graduate was incredibly highly rated, and when he got his shot out on loan he produced. When his chance in the first team came, he again produced and in 75 starting and appearances and 46 substitute showings, he hit 36 goals, with the 2014/15 campaign being his stand out – 45 games, 20 goals.
He attracted a lot of attention and Spurs were heavily in the race for him, but they didn’t agree to our valuation for a long time and then when a valuation was reportedly agreed upon, late on in the 2015 transfer window, the way in which they wanted to structure the deal was simply unacceptable from our point of view.
In hindsight, yes we should’ve cashed in. Hindsight says we should’ve also got a completely troublesome player off our books, but despite the Spurs deal not going through and all the problems (and lack of form) we then saw, we still got £12million from Stoke which wasn’t bad business for someone who had then scored only seven times in two seasons.
Factor in he only scored five times in a total 56 games for Stoke before they cancelled his contract, we still got the better end of the deal.
Berahino now finds himself at Belgian side Waregem, and although he’s finally found some form – five games, three goals – it seems the poor me, everyone else is to blame attitude has stuck with him.
Speaking to Belgian outlet Het Nieuwsblad (via Sport Witness), recently, our former petulant youngster still didn’t appear to realise he was the cause of his own problems ultimately, and blamed everything on us refusing to sell him as the cause for the decline in his career. His own form after the window closed, and his social media babbling about Jeremy Peace, stating he’d refuse to play for the club again whilst Peace was here and so on, doesn’t seem to feature.
“That played a lot. That’s when the misery started. As a player you want to go to the top and that was Tottenham. But the owner of West Brom wanted to sell the club. And I – two times the team’s top scorer, young international, twice The Young Player of The Year – was the most valuable asset of West Brom. That’s why he didn’t let me go. If he sold me, he could not sell the club for so much money. I didn’t understand that and couldn’t handle it. It was a selfish decision. I took it personally. I can now lay it to rest, but that took me years. I blamed others. It killed me.”
Yeah, really sounds like he’s laid ‘it to rest’, not least because he doesn’t seem to understand a balance sheet and intangible assets or remember what happened that well – and that’s before I point out given his perceived valuation at the time, I’m pretty sure our ground and overall business was the ‘most valuable asset’ at the time.
Every player has ambitions. Few throw the baby out with the bathwater on Twitter and few let their form fall off a cliff and then fail to perform when given a fresh slate elsewhere.
There’s a reason Spurs never came back in for him and only Stoke did, maybe he should ponder on that because whilst it may have ‘killed him’, there are plenty of West Brom fans still waiting for an apology for his behaviour, but at least we understand which party should be looking in a mirror.