With the transfer period closed once again and Saido Berahino still a West Brom player, time will tell if the striker has learned from past mistakes.
This season is huge for any player with aspirations of going to Euro 2016 in France this summer. England are not blessed with strikers at present. Most believe Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane are certainties on the plane to France. Depending on how many strikers manager Roy Hodgson wants to bring with him, one would be safe enough in thinking at least two more will join them.
It would be a travesty if Jamie Vardy is not one of them given his outstanding club form this season. If you had said this time last season that Vardy would be on that plane with the possibility of a Premier League winner’s medal in his pocket you would have been laughed at.
This shows that anything is possible in football and Berahino needs to stop sulking over failed transfers and start playing football, which he has worked so hard to do.
He should look to Vardy for inspiration. Sometimes players wish to move clubs too quickly, when given the right attitude their ambitions can be matched where they are.
The Daily Mail report that Berahino has requested talks with West Brom Chairman Jeremy Peace to clarify his future away from West Brom and how soon he can move. Berahino, in the words of boss Tony Pulis, has ‘wasted three or four months’ of his career after a reaction to not getting his move away from the club last summer when Tottenham Hotspur reportedly came in for him.
Pulis has said Berahino is not match fit and has not shown the desired attitude expected at the club since that failed move. Posting a message on social media refusing to ever play for the chairman again only added to the trouble Berahino finds himself in. He cannot get games and has not scored in the Premier League in three months.
Berahino has fallen a long way from the striker who scored the winner at Old Trafford a couple of seasons ago, when his future looked bright. Many believed he would earn a place in Roy Hodgson’s squad this summer. Instead Vardy has leapfrogged him and Berahino has, when given the chance, shown little desire to match him.
With the never-ending injuries to Danny Welbeck, Andy Carroll and Daniel Sturridge, who is to say that if Berahino shows the right attitude and starts scoring goals that he could be on that plane ahead of them.
It was Hodgson who promoted him to the West Brom first team in 2011 and has since called him up twice to the England first team, although he has yet to make his debut.
Berahino needs to do his talking on the pitch and let his form earn him a move away. No disrespect to Newcastle United or Stoke City but if a change in attitude can bring the best out of Berahino and his goals bring him to Euro 2016, then bigger clubs than those will come calling next summer.
At the moment he is creating the wrong kind of headlines for himself. He should remember clubs not only look at a footballer’s ability, they also look at the man. Nobody wants a distributive influence hindering their ambitions.
Damien McEvoy, Pundit Arena