Darren Fletcher hails West Brom teammate Saido Berahino as a “model professional”

Saido Berahino had a fantastic breakthrough season at West Bromwich Albion and captain Darren Fletcher believes he is a “model professional.”

West Brom secured a solid mid-table finish under Tony Pulis after a strong second half to the season which saw them move away from any relegation danger with games to spare.

A major reason behind their escape were the goals of star striker Saido Berahino, who will represent England under-21s at this summer's European Championship.

Berahino scored 20 goals in total as he proved himself as a star of the future. At 21-years-old, the Baggies will have a tough time holding onto him this summer, with numerous Premier League clubs looking to bolster their options in attack.

The West Brom striker is no stranger to wanting to force a move away from the club, after stating earlier in the season that he needs to leave the club to achieve his ambitions as a footballer, per Sky Sports.

However, Pulis’ arrival coincided with the re-focusing of Berahino, who he settled back into a routine at the Hawthorns and promised him a move to a bigger club should the right offer come in.

Pulis appears to have had a positive effect on Berahino’s attitude and work rate since then, according to club captain Darren Fletcher.

The Scotsman was brought in from Manchester United in January and became a regular member of the midfield. He believes that Berahino is a dedicated and professional individual who has been a fantastic asset to the dressing room.

Fletcher told the Birmingham Mail, “He’s been fantastic, I can’t speak highly enough of him. He’s dedicated, professional, everything you’d want.

“Everything he does, from the way he conducts himself from the moment he arrives at training to the moment he leaves, he is a model professional.”

Fletcher singled out the moment the Baggies were trailing 2-0 away to Burnley on his debut back in February, only to claw the deficit back and claim a draw. He believes Berahino’s positivity was crucial in that vital comeback, which kept West Brom clear of the drop zone.

He continued, “That was a big test. I just wasn’t going to accept this would be the norm for me and I was determined myself to put it right and drive the rest of the players on. I think Burnley might have been second from bottom at the time and to be 2-0 down so early was a real kick in the teeth.

“But after the game was when I thought we would be alright because of the character we showed to come back. I remember Saido, when we were 2-0 down, we took the centre and Saido’s positivity hit home with me as well. He said ‘no, we’ve got this. If we score one we’ll get two’.

“To have that from a young kid, who people had spoken about in a negative way and I’d heard different things about, was great. That was inspiring and after the game I knew we’d be fine.”

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