Boss draws comparisons between Berahino and former Arsenal legend

Saido Berahino

West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Irvine believes 21-year-old Saido Berahino is just like former Arsenal striker Ian Wright.

Saido Berahino has scored seven goals already this season and Alan Irvine believes he should model his game on former Arsenal striker Ian Wright. The Baggies hitman has started the campaign in blistering form, causing his manager to draw comparisons between him and the former Gunners goal-getter.

Wright is one of the greatest goalscorers in Premier League history and was the Gunners' top marksman six seasons in a row. He remains the second highest scorer for the club with 185 goals in 279 starts and accumulated 33 England caps along the way.

Ahead of Palace's visit to the Hawthorns, Irvine said: “I played with Ian at Crystal Palace and Wrighty had that energy and enthusiasm and wanted to run in behind people.

“That’s a real strength of Saido’s, too. If he keeps doing that then defenders don’t like it and he will keep on getting his ­opportunities."

“I didn’t say he is as good as Ian, but he is that type and he is heading in that direction.

Berahino grabbed his sixth goal of the Premier League season – and his third in successive games – in the Baggies 2-2 draw with Manchester United. He took the opportunity like a world class striker, placing a shot past the outstretched David De Gea and into the bottom corner. 

Irvine believes the striker’s finish was straight off the training ground, where - similar to Wright during his playing days - the forward has been putting in the hours.

“Ian became better and better as he went on, that was down to what he already had plus the fact he never lost that enthusiasm. He always had that approach to the game and his training.” 

He added: “Ian was one who stayed behind at the end of training as well and practised like Saido."

“We put on finishing practices that are going to be specific to the way he plays. Has Saido practised the kind of movement and finish that he had against Manchester United? Yes, many times."

  TeamPosGoalsTotal ShotsConversion Rate (%)AppsMins
Saido Berahino West Brom FW 6 23 26.09 8 719

Berahino burst onto the Premier League scene last term, scoring five goals in 32 appearances, and he has continued to impress in his second top flight season. Having scored six goals from his total of 23 attempts, the youngster has converted just over 25% of his opportunities - a highly respectable effort.

  TeamGoalsConversion Rate (%)AppsMins
Diego Costa Chelsea 9 40.91 7 589
Saido Berahino West Brom 6 26.09 8 719
Sergio Agüero Man City 9 25.00 8 528
Graziano Pellè Southampton 6 18.75 8 710

Of the players who have scored five or more goals this season, he is actually the second-most clinical, behind only Chelsea's multi-million forward Diego Costa.

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