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Future looks bright for young Berahino
West Bromwich Albion aren’t exactly a club known for producing top-class young players, but in 19-year-old striker Saido Berahino they have a golden gem who is developing at an alarming rate.
Having steadily progressed through the Albion youth structure, after escaping from his native Burundi to come and live a new life at the age of 10 in England, Berahino signed his first professional contract in the summer of 2011 and hasn’t looked back since.
The explosive forward, fuelled by the ability to glide past his man and score goals, has endured loan spells at lower-league teams such as Northampton Town – where he struck six times in 14 matches – and Brentford – where he bagged four goals in a total of eight appearances. He’s proved he can cut it in the lower divisions, but can he make his mark in the top flight, I hear you cry.
Well, we all hope so. There is much expectation and anticipation on him to succeed at Albion. He’s gradually easing his way into the senior setup, having featured in a variety of cup games over the last couple of campaigns and scoring in pre-season.
He’s a raw talent and still in the learning process. However, it’s clear to see that Berahino is making rapid progress in his career and it’s important that the Baggies act accordingly to try and flood the youngster into the first-team picture over the next few years or so. We’re dealing with a player that doesn’t lack for confidence and is eager to impress.
Infact, Albion boss Steve Clarke has already heaped praise on him. He complimented Berahino after his strike against Walsall in pre-season saying: “He hasn’t played many minutes on the pitch but I’ve seen him work in training, be in and around the squad and I’m pleased with him.” Clearly he’s made a good impression on the coach, which can’t be a bad thing.
As long as the England under-20 international continues to develop and improve his game, his chance will soon come. And rest assured, when that opportunity does pop up the kid dubbed “West Brom’s next big thing” will grab it with both hands. There’s no doubt about that.
Posted by West Brom fan Nathan Carr
Follow Nathan on Twitter at @nathancarr67