Saido Berahino has finally freed himself from the self-imposed shackles which had held him down for such a long time at West Bromwich Albion. According to latest reports, Stoke City have signed Saido Berahino for a fee of £12m on a five-and-a-half-year deal. The deal thus brings to a close a long-drawn saga involving the English player and his club.
While West Brom refused to let him leave when his value was at an all-time high, they attempted 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 23-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.
His career at the Hawthorns came to standstill ever since the lust of Tottenham Hotspur got into his head and in trying to engineer moves, he fell out with the equally stubborn club.
Stoke City are currently in the 9th spot and after a tumultuous start to the season, they have steadied their ship and are looking capable of having a reasonable season. But it is quite evident that the Potters need to attain a degree of consistency as at times, they have been all over the place.
With Wilfred Bony’s move to the Bet 365 Stadium surprisingly not working out, there was a need for a striker to come in. With Crouch and Diouf along with the makeshift Walters the only alternatives, there was too much uncertainty and a tattered look about their attacking line.
Also, with Arnautovic and Shaqiri failing to provide the spark till now this season, a player with some individual capacity to produce a moment of magic or two in matches was the call of the hour. And Berahino has that ability.
He can also be utilised on the wings or behind a striker. The fans are understandably a bit sceptical with his disciplinary history but it is expected that under Hughes he can rediscover his early career form and grow into a better and a more lethal striker.
Another interesting aspect of this new singing will be his potentially successful partnership with Peter Crouch. The lanky England international has recently signed a new deal and it is clear that Mark Hughes has earmarked the two of them to form a sort of partnership at the top. With such contrasting styles and the ability to play off one another, it is reminiscent of the lethal effect Crouch had along with Defoe at various stages in their careers.