Stoke City long-term target, Saido Berahino: worth all the hassle?

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Stoke City’s pursuit of Saido Berahino isn’t exactly a well-kept secret. Can the Potters’ board finally pry the forward from West Brom’s clutches?

Transfer sagas. Whenever there’s a transfer window thrown open these days, there’s always another episode in the making.

One player in particular who is usually a main character, is Saido Berahino.

Berahino’s story so far

So, the West Brom forward’s name is dragged up on the regular in both the summer, and the winter transfer window. Where did it all start?

Berahino started his career at the Midlands side, coming up through their youth system.

Taking the generic route to their first team, he spent time out on loan at clubs such as Northampton Town, Brentford, and Peterborough.

At the beginning of the 2013/14 season, Baggies then-manager Steve Clarke elected to use Berahino as his first-choice striking option, following the departure of Romelu Lukaku.

In that season, the Englishman scored five Premier League goals in 32 games.

More from Editorials

The following campaign, he threw himself into the limelight – and eventually the shop window – by scoring 20 in 45, across all competitions.

During that 2014/15 campaign, Berahino lit the transfer cauldron. First, he turned down a deal to extend with the Baggies.

At which point, the club had had enough. The attacker was listed for sale come the end of the season.

The beginning of no end

Berahino grew so desperate to move away from West Brom that he took to Twitter, among other mishaps, to declare his displeasure at playing for the team.

In came Spurs, who tabled a variety of bids ranging from £15-20m. All of which were of course, rejected. Berahino, incensed, declared he’d never play for the club again while then-Chairman Jeremy Peace was in charge.

Berahino’s appearances naturally dropped in numbers during the 2015/16 season, and in that winter window, Newcastle jumped on board by offering £21m for his services.

Still at West Brom, it wasn’t until July 2016 that Stoke City decided to join the party. Both the Potters and Crystal Palace bid £20m for the player. Both, of course, rejected.

So why different this time for Stoke City?

The difference this window is that Berahino isn’t playing at all for West Brom. The forward has played only four times in the Premier League this season.

Perhaps in the past, Tony Pulis and the guys upstairs at The Hawthorns have been reluctant to let the forward leave due to his form and importance.

This time though, Salomon Rondon is filling the void. Berahino is surplus to requirements.

Jeremy Peace, the main reason for the stoppage of any potential move for Berahino, has sold has stake in the club for slightly less tight-walleted ownership.

Perhaps now is the time to try to push a move through, once again.