Saido Berahino would be best off staying at West Bromwich Albion to further his England aspirations

November 22, 2014 admin No comments


West Brom’s Saido Berahino got an England call up (Picture: Getty Images)

The emergence of Saido Berahino at the beginning of last season was one of the few positives of a deeply disappointing campaign.

Despite having a much improved system, it has been many years since a youth product made a mark on the first team, let alone at an international level.

While the reasons behind the failure of the academy to do this require a far more wide-ranging blog on the all too easy way that promising players are poached, it is heartening to everyone at the club to see young talent being developed.

However, even more heartening that his breakthrough has been his performance this season. After the initial burst in the early stages of the last campaign, a feeling that he had made it seemed to set in as his performances tailed away.

Rumours came out of the dressing room of altercations with senior professionals due to his attitude, he noticeably gained weight, and there seemed a danger that his talent would be wasted. It is a real testament to his character, and the club, that after the summer break Berahino came back fitter, sharper and simply better than the player we saw at the end of last season.


Berahino in action for West Brom (Picture: Getty Images)

While it is his goals that have no doubt caught the eye of the England coaches, and without them I dread to think where Albion would be in the table, it is the general improvement to his game that has been so welcome. Such has been this improvement on he has allowed Albion to play 4-5-1 and carry a threat, making up for the hugely disappointing summer forward signings.

This capability of playing on his own up front has been vital in Albion picking up tough points. While he did not get on the scoresheet, his performance at Leicester was crucial to the win, as he provided Albion’s only outlet and constantly harried the Leicester backline.

It is this improvement, something that surely only comes from time on the pitch, that means Berahino should not be too quick in leaving The Hawthorns. He rightly wants to play Champions League football, but there is a difference in playing it and watching it from the bench.

If he continues his development at the Albion then it will be beneficial to his career in the long run, helping to form a player who has the potential not just for an England cap while other players are injured, but a meaningful international career. After another year or so, then his talent may well outgrow The Hawthorns. So be it.

Yet for now these issues can wait. Every West Brom fan should delight in seeing one of our own in the last squad for England. It has been a long time coming. And it may be a long time before it happens again.

MORE: Liverpool plot £15m bid for West Brom star Saido Berahino in January transfer window

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