Saido Berahino has admitted it “killed him” when West Bromwich Albion blocked his expected move to Tottenham in the summer of 2015.
The striker now plays for Zulte Waregem in Belgium after having his contract terminated by Stoke City earlier this year. Four years ago, he was riding high at West Brom, attracting serious interest from Mauricio Pochettino and Spurs.
Reports from the time claim West Brom turned down a bid of £15 million from Tottenham as they wanted £25 million for their top scorer, but Baggies chairman Jeremy Pearce said the club would simply not consider selling Berahino.
The 26-year-old has now revealed exactly what happened, claiming West Brom didn’t want to sell him because Pearce wanted the club to remain valuable, something that would be harmed if their main asset was sold.
Berahino suffered a decline after his failed transfer, which he thinks had a big effect on him at the time.
“That played a lot. That’s when the misery started. As a player you want to go to the top and that was Tottenham. But the owner of West Brom wanted to sell the club,” Berahino told Belgian outlet Het Nieuwsblad (as relayed by Sport Witness).
“And I – two times the team’s top scorer, young international, twice The Young Player of The Year – was the most valuable asset of West Brom. That’s why he didn’t let me go. If he sold me, he could not sell the club for so much money.
“I didn’t understand that and couldn’t handle it. It was a selfish decision. I took it personally. I can now give lay it to rest, but that took me years. I blamed others. It killed me.”
It would have been interesting to see Berahino develop under Pochettino. We may have seen a prolific partnership between him and Harry Kane – but we’ll never know.
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