Tony Pulis sends warning message to teenage star, veiled reference to Berahino?

Tony Pulis Interview - 23/02/2014

The West Brom manager says that Jonathan Leko's talent alone will not be enough to make him a success.

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis has seemingly highlighted Saido Berahino's struggles as a warning that Jonathan Leko must show the right attitude as well as his talent to become a Premier Legaue success, as quoted by the Guardian.

Leko, who only turned 17 a fortnight ago, has made four appearances in the top flight since being handed his debut as a substitute at the start of April and has started the club's last two matches, putting in some impressive performances.

Pulis has previously admitted that he has been delighted with the youngster's progress, but has warned the prodigy that he must show the right commitment and attitude to transform his natural talent into long-term success.

The Welsh boss said, as quoted by the Guardian: "Leko has got unbelievable talent, but talent alone doesn’t make a player. You’ve got to have big character, dedication, and you’ve got to be focused. And without those other three building blocks he won’t reach the potential that he’s got.

"Ability alone doesn’t work, you’ve got to have them with it. Especially today, there’s so much going on it’s easy to be distracted, so he has to make sure he gets them.

"It’s up to us he gets that into him, and [that we] make sure he keeps his feet on the ground. He’s got a couple of solid pros in that group who will keep him right if he steps out of line, and I will if I get a sniff that he’s doing something he shouldn’t."

Though Pulis did not mention his name, that is likely a veiled reference to Berahino, who has failed to build on a superb season last term in which he scored 20 goals in 45 appearances in all competitions.

That form saw serious interest from Tottenham Hotspur last summer, but Albion knocked back a series of lucrative bids for the striker, a move which infuriated Berahino and resulted in him angrily declaring that he would never play for Baggies chairman Jeremy Peace again.

After an exile at the start of the current campaign, Berahino was eventually reintroduced into Pulis' squad, but he has scored just seven goals in a season characterised by bad form and occasional suggestions of attitude problems.

Meanwhile, Leko will hope to be involved for one last time this season as Albion host Liverpool at the Hawthorns in their final fixture of the campaign on Sunday.

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