West Brom sensation Saido Berahino is too mature to have his head turned by interest from the Premier League glamour clubs, according to boss Alan Irvine.
Berahino made a name for himself last season with a goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Since then he has established himself as one of the Premier League’s hottest prospects, and added to that reputation with another goal against the Red Devils in Monday’s 2-2 draw at The Hawthorns.
The 21-year-old is being linked with so-called bigger clubs increasingly regularly, but Albion head coach Irvine expects his key forward to see the bigger picture.
“I think Saido has the maturity to realise if he keeps doing what he does he will make progress here and all sorts of things will open up at international and club level,” the Scot said.
“If he keeps doing this, he will become a top striker and anything can happen.”
Irvine, who rates the Burundi-born forward at well over £15million, accepts the club may find themselves fending off interest from Berahino’s suitors in January.
“There’s a bit of time to go between now and then, but if he continues to do what he is doing other clubs will come in and test the water,” he said.
“That will come down to what the chairman (Jeremy Peace) wants to do. But the club is in such a good position we don’t need to sell. I think the chairman will make the right decision. I wouldn’t like to see Saido go, but I have to be realistic as I know what the possibility is.
“Our chairman is very strong and will only do what is in the best interests of the club, and we will have to see whether it comes to that. If things change for Saido and he’s done a good job for West Brom, we’ll be happy.”
Irvine is not at all bored of the media attention the England Under-21 international garners.
“I’ll be delighted if we’re still talking about Saido at the end of the season,” he said.
“His movement is very good. I expected him to score when through on Monday and he’s going in the right direction. He’s got plenty of things to improve, but with his attitude and the way he is living his life I think he can only get better and better.”
Associated Press Report.