It was easy to feel sorry for Saido Berahino at the end of his torrid stay at West Bromwich Albion. Every time the striker had a glimmer of hope to escape the Midlands, he was constantly brought back to his reality that he was never going to leave West Brom (or so it seemed).
The ordeal was so drawn out, Tony Pulis was actually using the weight of Berahino to prevent him from leaving. Unfortunately, the weight gain is probably due to stress eating from not getting on the pitch. But the Berahino situation has now reached dizzying new heights with the latest debacle from the English youth international.
Every footballer loves to be on the pitch and playing except for Benoit Assou-Ekotto, so seeing Berahino struggle was difficult to watch as a football fan. He’s young, skilful, and had a thirst for scoring goals, so riding the bench for a mid-table club was not what he had in mind. He dreamed of European football and getting out of the Midlands, but feelings of sorrow for him have since disappeared.
Berahino looking sluggish and subbed after 70 mins – someone must have spiked his tea at half time
— Stephen Sadler (@pottobaggie) April 1, 2017
Saido Berahino secured a January move to Stoke City, which didn’t excite anyone, minus West Brom as they were able to get him off their books. Since his release from his personal hell of West Brom he has failed to much of anything to help the club. He hasn’t scored in six appearances for the club since his arrival and appears to have lost his scoring touch since he lit up the Premier League with 14 league goals just a couple seasons ago.
The biggest issue with Berahino is his recent return to the spotlight. Earlier this season he has banned for eight weeks due to a positive drug test that he now blames on a spiked drink at the club. If you’re going to be using drugs, just own up to it. You were in a dark place not playing and being shunned by your boyhood club, own up to your wrong doing and move on. Berahino has been in the spotlight for far too long and needs to lay low and let his playing do the talking as it has been quite dreadful as of late. When a striker isn’t scoring or even getting on the pitch, what good is he for the club?
Can't believe someone spiked Berahino's salad with a burger
— Luke Fisher (@lukefisher88) March 30, 2017
Fortunately for Saido Berahino, he is still young and has the potential to be a decent footballer just yet. He has to understand that he has a lot to prove in order for him to be considered a decent striker and even more to be a great striker.
Regardless of his play, Berahino has gone from victim to villain with his actions and lack of responsibility. His stint at Stoke City could decide the fate of his career and whether he is another victim of the English media or a success story, but it is more likely going to end in the same fate of many young players before him – a trip to the Championship.