The complete demise of Saido Berahino

Stoke City’s Saido Berahino has now gone a full two years without scoring a goal.  This rotten milestone has transformed the English forward from one of the hottest young prospects years ago to now being one of the most unfortunate strikers around.

Since joining Stoke from West Brom in 2017 and after 26 games in all competitions for the Potters, Berahino still hasn’t managed a single goal and therefore looks to be a complete waste of £12m. His last goal came for his old side, West Brom, in a 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace and that since has marked the demise of what could have been a remarkable English talent.

Both old Stoke City manager Mark Hughes and the new boss Paul Lambert share the agreement that Berahino is not fit enough to play for the Premier League side who are currently locked in a grueling relegation battle.

Lambert continues to back Berahino though despite the acknowledgement of Hughes’ comments:

I think he’s an absolutely fantastic, incredible finisher, but you need a bit more at times,” said Lambert.

With so much hope on the young attacker when breaking through the ranks at West Brom, it all went so wrong so quickly. He confessed himself that he “went off the rails” after having a training ground bust-up, as well being pictured taking laughing gas. This was all going on when his West Brom team needed him most as they were face-to-face with the relegation zone.

He wasn’t a typical young striker though, many similar situations have seen youngsters starved of time on the pitch but by September 2014, he already had 70 first-team appearances to his name, more than players such as Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge at the same age. Berahino was supposed to be the fairy-tale story. Since his rampant arrival at West Brom where he announced himself with a hat-trick on his full debut and the winner away at Manchester United, no one could have predicted the huge decline Saido Berahino has endured.

He scored 20 times in 2014-15 to earn his only senior England call-up under Roy Hodgson’s reign but his goal touch has deserted him in the last couple of seasons as he now finds himself without a goal for two years. Within that time he has had chances as well – in 42 games, he has missed 3 penalties and had 20 shots on target but still Berahino is unable to find the back of the net.

Now though fans more commonly associate Berahino with attitude problems and bad mistakes, not goals like a striker should be known for.

It begs the question of whether there would be a future at Stoke for the no.9 or generally in football. It’s clear that Berahino had the talent to be a Premier League player but after two years of not scoring a goal, is there any confidence or motivation to better himself once again? I’m not convinced.

Considering that Tottenham were hopeful of securing his signature when he was a prolific goalscorer in the league, I bet they feel lucky to have escaped the troublesome forward. Currently, Berahino can’t muster an opportunity to force his way back into the Stoke squad and has had to settle for minutes in the Under 23’s and a strict fitness programme to follow by new boss Paul Lambert.

He isn’t a stranger to a fitness recuperation either as before under Tony Pulis for West Brom, he had this very same situation. Berahino was a tricky forward to face with his pace in behind and the quality to finish a chance given to him. This ability has vanished over the last two years but it is conceivable that he could prove everyone wrong and shine once more.

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