Could Berahino circus hold West Brom back in relegation battle?

The 21-year-old's situation at the Hawthorns is far from ideal.

According to the Daily Mirror, West Brom striker Saido Berahino is being blanked by his team-mates amid recent irritation with the young forward's behaviour.

West Brom new-boy Darren Fletcher has leapt to the 21-year-old's defence, as reported by The Guardian, suggesting he is simply a young man who will make mistakes like everyone else.

But is a new recruit really a good enough sample of a squad he has only just joined?

Even if the Mirror's report bears no truth, meanwhile, the constant speculation and rumours surrounding Berahino are no doubt a negative influence on this West Brom side.

  GoalsAppearancesMinutes Played
Saido Berahino 9 23 1,743
Craig Dawson 2 15 1,350
Victor Anichebe 1 13 666
Graham Dorrans 1 21 1,593
Craig Gardner 1 21 1,685
Brown Ideye 1 13 618

As Opta stats show, taking Berahino out of the equation would result in absolute disaster for the Baggies when it comes to Premier League goals.

No other West Brom star has netted more than twice this term - so Tony Pulis and co really need to keep the 21-year-old sweet.

That is, of course, made difficult, however, with Berahino speaking about his future away from the club to Sky Sports - the reported cause of the striker's team-mates' frustration.

So do West Brom's coach and players dance around the youngster and let him get away with what he wants, or do they show him they won't take any of his antics?

Either way, this could all prove both divisive and decisive when it comes to West Brom's relegation battle. For Pulis, staying up should prove straightforward enough. It is by no means an easy task but are West Brom really a worse side than Queens Park Rangers, Burnley, Hull, Leicester City or even Aston Villa?

Not a chance. But relegation is a serious threat should the Berahino circus prove enough of a distraction for the Baggies squad. Should there truly prove to be unrest within the camp, then, Pulis needs to sort it right away or face serious consequences.

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