All packed but nowhere to go, Berahino stays at West Brom

By on September 2, 2015

Last season, Saido Berahino spoke with his feet. Twenty-goals and four assists later and his message was clear: a move on from West Bromwich Albion was warranted. Coming into the summer, there was no doubt that the twenty-two year old was looking for a move to a big-name club and it seemed a formality to strike a deal and move on. Berahino was clearly ready to go and multiple suitors had lined up to roll the dice.

In the end, however, yesterday was deadline day and today Berahino is still at West Brom: hence cometh the fallout. Tottenham Hotspur had emerged as the leaders of the chase for Berahino late on in the summer but what should have been the simplest of signings dragged on and on past deadline, with West Brom’s chairman Jeremy Peace blaming his opposite number at Tottenham, Daniel Levy, for multiple unvirtuous offers. Peace claims that Levy attempted to take advantage of Berahino’s desire to leave (in what would hardly be a first) and West Brom’s status as a selling club. Levy then fired back to disparage Peace’s handling of the situation and the war of egos rumbles on.

Then there’s Berahino, caught up in a battle that is bigger than him, one that in a perfect world, wouldn’t have taken place at all. In response, the youngster has had to speak with his words and actions, vowing somewhat impetuously to go on strike against his current employers, the worst outcome possible from the saga. Here’s one of England’s finest young talents potentially wasted due to the action of owners and agents. Whether a move to Tottenham was even the best decision in the first place, it was clearly Berahino’s wish.

Earlier in the summer, Raheem Sterling, the twenty-year-old trequartista who had already played nearly a hundred matches for Liverpool and has represented England sixteen times, found himself in a similar situation.

With the wish to leave Liverpool for Manchester City, Sterling eventually forced his way into a £44 million move to the Etihad Stadium — but only after months of speculation and drama. In the midst of a battle of pride between two behemoth clubs, a young star traded his boyhood club for the riches and Champions League football available at Manchester City. In the end, however, Sterling got his move and more so than Manchester City, the English national team emerges a winner. They’re now fostering a happier star to grow into the next generation, as opposed to a player stuck in a toxic club situation such as Berahino.

There are many other examples of young, specifically-English talent caught up in battles above their pay grade. Both the transfer sagas surrounding David de Gea’s proposed move to Real Madrid and John Stones’ wish to trade Goodison Park for Stamford Bridge ended similarly to Berahino’s yesterday. Who wins? Nobody. Who suffers the most? The players themselves and England’s national team. In the pressure-cooker of young footballers in the circus of the Premier League’s big boys, this is surely one of the issues hindering England’s talent output.

Homepage photo credit: Snap shot of photo taken by Warwick Gastinger, via Flickr

About Alex Morgan

Alex Morgan, founder of Football Every Day, lives and breaths football from the West Coast of the United States in California. Aside from founding Football Every Day in January of 2013, Alex has also launched his own journalism career and hopes to help others do the same with FBED. He covers the San Jose Earthquakes as a beat reporter for and his work has also been featured in the BBC's Match of the Day Magazine.