West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino has explained to The Sun why he turned down a new contract earlier this season.
The 21-year-old’s current contract with the Premier League outfit runs out in June 2017, but he was offered an extension last year.
Berahino has now revealed that it was actually him who did not want to commit to a new deal, telling Ian Wright in The Sun: “West Brom offered me a new deal two months ago and people thought they pulled out of it when the drink-driving thing came up. But it was me who didn’t sign — why rush it? I have two years left anyway, there’s no panic.”
Berahino is one of the more talented young players in the Premier League, and there was speculation last month he could leave West Brom in the January transfer window.
According to The Mirror, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur were both interested in the services of the young Englishman.
However, with the transfer window to slam shut later tonight, it looks pretty certain that Berahino will remain at The Hawthorns until the end of the season.
Berahino is aware of the interest in him from bigger clubs in the Premier League, but he is not getting carried away.
“Of course it’s really flattering but I won’t be getting carried away,” he said. “First things first. I want to carry on my development where I am…
“If I am doing so well for West Brom to the point that I do leave in the future, I want to make sure I am ready for it.
“I don’t want to go before then. But it’s not about money — if it was I’d have signed a new deal at West Brom a while ago, because they were offering me a lot more dough.”
Berahino seems to know what he wants from himself and has a plan about his future. These are signs that he is mature, or at least maturing.
Despite his talent and potential, the striker has not been very convincing this season. After a strong start to the campaign, the youngster fizzled out before recently starting to recover some form.
In 23 Premier League appearances so far this season, the England Under-21 international has scored nine goals and created 19 chances, while having a pass accuracy of 86% and a shot accuracy of 49%.
The stats are not great, but one needs to remember that he is playing for a team who are currently struggling against relegation from the Premier League.
Moving away from West Brom in the middle of the season was going to be premature for Berahino, who needs to use his time at The Hawthorns to improve himself and raise his game to a higher level.