Football is a mysterious game, one in which a single transfer can establish a place in history or leave one stranded in sporting limbo. Saido Berahino certainly belongs in the latter category. The striker once scored 14 goals in a single campaign but has now been shown the door by current club Stoke. But how things could have been different.
The news broke earlier in the month that Berahino had been convicted of driving under the influence, receiving a 30-month ban alongside a £75,000 fine (as per Sky News). The Stoke man was found to be three times above the limit, but professed he was only driving to escape armed gang members. Further news has now emerged, with The Mail reporting Stoke have terminated the forward’s contract. It must be regarded as the low point in what was such a promising career.
Let’s go back to 2015. Berahino had just netted 14 times for West Brom in the Premier League and the summer transfer window had opened. The 22-year-old had certainly attracted attention of the masses, but none more so than Tottenham Hotspur. To say they were keen would be an understatement. In fact, they saw three bids rejected that summer, the final one amounting to £23m (as per the Telegraph).
According to the Telegraph, Berahino hoped to secure the move, while then-manager Tony Pulis was lining up potential replacements. Yet, a deal wasn’t to be made. It’s never really been the same for the strike since. In the four seasons since, the striker has been loaned out to Northampton, Brentford and Peterborough, before moving to Stoke in 2017. None of these moves have proved productive, with Stoke now terminating his contract after scoring just three league goals for the club.
It’s hard not to picture what could have been. Pochettino had completed his first season at Tottenham and was in the process of cleaning out the club’s deadwood. They have continuously struggled with a back-up for Harry Kane, but many felt Berahino would be a strong candidate. Young, quick and a natural eye for goal.
Yet, it wasn’t to be. And here we are. A career with so much promise left in tatters. Berahino is still only 25-years-old, but a comeback to the top levels of football seems so far away. Who knows, however. Stranger things have happened.
Tottenham fans, what do you think? Were you disappointed not to see Berahino at the club? Would he have fit in under Pochettino? Comment below.
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