The Saido Berahino transfer saga which has been going on for an eternity finally looks like having its wings clipped this transfer window. The English forward had explicitly expressed his desire to leave West Bromwich Albion previously with Tottenham Hotspur being the frontrunner, but the Baggies have repeatedly blocked his exit leaving the player frustrated and disillusioned. But things finally seem to be moving ahead this window with more clubs joining the race for the unsettled striker. While West Brom refused to let him go when his value was at an all-time high, they are attempting to save some face while turning down reasonable bids for the striker and trying to get as much as they can from the sale. The 22-year old had an underwhelming last season where he scored a meagre 4 goals but has displayed timely glimpses of his ability which has ensured healthy competition for his signature.
While Stoke are said to leading the race for the player, you can never say never in football. We look at three potential destinations for the want-away Berahino.
While the Potters possess a handful of creative players, they have lacked a finisher who could justify the build-up play. Players like Arnautovic, Shaqiri have often found themselves isolated up top and Hughes has had to deploy Walters as a make-shift striker on multiple occasions. With the promising team Hughes is setting up, a rejuvenated and interested Berahino could work wonders for the Bet365 Stadium outfit. Berahino’s pace and swift movement for a striker would provide a different dimension to their play as well.
David Moyes has taken over the reins at the Stadium of Light and will look to set the house in order before the new season commences. Sunderland lack options up top with Jermaine Defoe as the sole performer with a semblance of consistency and Moyes will certainly look to add to his options after putting forth the objective of a better finish in the table compared to the past few seasons. With the youth of Berahino acting as a perfect foil for the experienced Defoe, the two will have a chance to strike up a formidable partnership for the Black Cats.
OR EVEN CRYSTAL PALACE…
Palace have lacked a consistent goal-scorer who is capable of scoring 15 league goals a season. They have had to repeatedly chop and change up-top which has disturbed the harmony of the project Alan Pardew is trying to undertake. With the likes of Andros Townsend, Bolasie and Wilfred Zaha to provide the ammunition, Berahino would provide a proven finishing outlet. While Crystal Palace have earmarked Benteke to play that role, Liverpool are not willing to make a loss of their investment thus creating potential roadblocks in the deal. Berahino would prove to be a more than able alternative in that case.