Are West Brom forcing Liverpool-linked Saido Berahino towards exit?

West Bromwich Albion boss Alan Irvine has warned Saido Berahino he may have to get used to life on the bench amid Arsenal and Liverpool transfer talk.

Everything was going so well for Saido Berahino.

Where has it all gone wrong?

Back in November, he was drafted into the senior England squad for the first time having burst out of the Premier League blocks with West Bromwich Albion.

An early return of eight goals saw him catch the eye of Roy Hodgson, but things have gone downhill quickly from there.

Discussions regarding a contract extension at The Hawthorns have been broken off, while Berahino finds himself out of favour and stuck on the bench.

The Baggies still consider him to be an ‘important player’ but Alan Irvine, who has overlooked the 21-year-old in back-to-back fixtures, has warned the youngster that he will have to get used to a supporting role if he fails to put off-field issues behind him and force his way back into contention.

He said in the Birmingham Mail: “Saido is going to be a really important player for us this season as he has been already.

“It is far too early for me to even think about what the team is going to be against QPR.

“Saido has a huge part to play in whatever we do this season but whether that is next week starting or from the bench I don’t know yet.”

Berahino would have been expecting to earn a recall had West Brom’s recent struggles continued during a derby date with Aston Villa on Saturday, but they secured a 1-0 victory over arch-rivals.

Irvine may now be tempted to keep faith with those who delivered in a crunch encounter.

That will leave a man who has recently been linked with Liverpool and Arsenal kicking his heels on the sidelines and unable to impress potential suitors ahead of the January transfer window.

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