A dramatic late Daley Blind equaliser forced West Bromwich Albion to settle for a 2-2 draw in Monday night’s Premier League clash against Manchester United, with the in-form Saido Berahino almost the hero again for the home side.
After substitute Marouane Fellaini cancelled out Stephane Sessegnon’s eighth-minute opener just after the break, the promising striker restored the Baggies’ advantage on 66 minutes with a curled finish to increase his goal haul on the season to seven in 10 total appearances.
That scoring record has seen his future at the Hawthorns come under increasing speculation in recent weeks, with Tottenham Hotspur linked with a £15 million bid in the winter window, although the statistics from his showing against United paint the picture of a finisher who was more opportunistic than dominant on the night.
|Vs Manchester United||Goals||Total Shot||Shot Acc||Total Dribble||Dribble Acc||Total Pass||Pass Acc||Poss Lost||Apps||Mins|
Nevertheless, while Berahino had few chances on goal and proved somewhat wasteful in possession, there's no doubting that he looked active all night, with his blistering pace, movement and positioning keep United's defence on their toes.
Aged 21, the England Under-21 international's performances since the start of the new campaign have led to speculation of an imminent senior call-up, and manager Alan Irvine believes such recognition would be a just reward.
'He is in great form just now,' the Scot said after seeing his side take a point against Louis van Gaal's outfit.
'He deserves what he is getting as a reward at the moment because his application every day in training is really top class.
'He is behaving like a professional day after day on the training ground and with the potential he has got if he keeps doing that he'll get the rewards.
'Roy [Hodgson] will decide when the right time is for him to go in. I have just said to Saido keep on doing the right things and people will make those decisions.
'If he keeps performing like that he has a real chance of becoming a full international, when that is I don't know, though.'
Berahino first burst onto the scene at the start of last season, netting a hat-trick in a 3-0 Capital One Cup win over Newport County, before scoring the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over United at Old Trafford a month later.
His form suffered during the second half of the campaign, however, after signing a new long-term contract, while there were also reports of a dressing room bust up with teammate James Morrison in April over his attitude.
Nevertheless, such issues don't appear to have manifested since, and West Brom are understood to be preparing another new deal for their Burundi-born front man, in order to thwart rumoured interest from the likes of Spurs.
It remains to be seen whether that will be enough to prevent the so-called bigger sides from sniffing around but, while his latest performance wasn't all that impressive statistics-wise, his finishing instincts suggest a bright future is in store.