It was September 1, 2015. It was Deadline Day – usually a hive of activity. And it was the day that Sadio Berahino made an astonishment comment: He would never play for West Brom again under chairman Jeremy Peace after his move to Tottenham did not happen.
18 days later, in his first start since the social media slur, he scored the winner against one of Albion’s fiercest rivals, Aston Villa. That is why we all love football.
Berahnio’s early childhood did not start in ideal circumstances. Born in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, he had to mourn the sad lost of his father in 1997 when war struck in his country. So, when aged 10, he fled to Birmingham with his mother, brother and sisters.
From that point onwards his life changed. He thrived within the West Midlands, learning the language and improving his ability on the pitch significantly as well. A year after moving to the country, he moved to the club that would change his life as he signed on at West Brom’s centre of excellent. Seven years later his dream had became reality as he signed professional terms for the club: he was now a professional footballer.
But, with the Albion a cemented Premier League side, he wasn’t going to make an instant impact. Berahnio’s choice: to go out on loan. Firstly he made the move to Sixfields and Northampton Town, then West London where he would join League 1 outfit Brentford.
Now an established player in League 1 and 2, his next adventure had to come in the Championship. That’s what he did as he secured a loan move to Peterborough United. Here he showed his class and quality, with the pick of the bunch coming against Derby; he scored two of the Posh’s three.
By this point, the management team at his parent club started to take notice. And after controversies with Peter Odemwingie’s unhappiness at the club as well as star loanee Romelu Lukaku departing to Everton, Berahino got his chance. Unsurprisingly, he blossomed into the player he is today. That was evident in late September 2013 when he scored the winner for the Albion at Old Trafford to give them their first win at the Theatre of Dreams since 1978. His reputation from that point was enhanced. If actually just becoming a professional was a dream, this put the youngster into pure elation.
That goal was the pick of five Premier League goals that season. Satisfactory yes, but he could do better. He had to improve and the improvement was conspicuous when he returned the following season. Two goals in a fixture against Burnley approaching the end of September was the pinnacle. Achievements also included goals against the Red Devils, and a late equaliser against Palace from the penalty spot. With 15 goals, there was no shock that he was awarded the club’s Player of the Year award.
Despite his talent though, the 22-year-old’s attitude hasn’t always been perfect. Unhappiness and annoyance were the emotions that were conveyed on deadline day this year after his move to Tottenham did not come to fruition following several bids being rejected by Chairman Jeremy Peace. “I would never play for the club again”- his exact words on social media.
So what is next for Berahino? He has already had an England call-up without making his first start, but that will only come if his attitude is adjusted. Maybe a move to one of the big clubs within England? That is a distinct possibility as the unpredictable nature of Saido Berahino’s football career continues.