We take a look at those West Bromwich Albion players who allowed transfer sagas to overshadow their Baggies careers.
Footballers’ careers can be made or broken by their decisions off the field. One man who has been making all the wrong decisions is Saido Berahino. However, the 23-year-old is not the first West Bromwich Albion player to suffer from a transfer saga.
Jason Koumas allowed contract disputes, strikes and transfer requests to shroud his time with the Baggies. Many believed the naturally talented midfielder could have played for one of English football’s top sides but – following bust ups with several West Brom managers - he ended up with moving to Wigan Athletic in 2007. The Welshman retired in 2015 and never made the impact that his talent deserved.
At the end of the 2006-7, West Brom were resigned to another year out of the Premier League after a bitterly disappointing Championship play-off final defeat to Derby County. Then Albion captain and highly-rated England youngster, Curtis Davies, saw this as his cue to leave and handed in multiple transfer requests to try force through a move.
He eventually got a record transfer to Aston Villa but the move across the West Midlands didn’t work out as expected for the defender. He went from England prospect to eventually playing back in the Championship with Hull City. Davies’ career has since recovered but nothing beyond what he could have achieved had he stayed at the Hawthorns.
Not a transfer deadline day goes by without a mention of Peter Odemwingie. The Nigerian was adored by Albion fans from the moment he arrived. His pace, clinical finishing and those goals against Wolverhampton Wanderers made him a firm fan favourite.
Unfortunately, he made an ill-advised car trip to London on the winter deadline day 2013, with the hope of sealing a move to Queens Park Rangers. It didn’t materialise. Instead, the forward would have to endure public ridicule and an unhappy ending to what should have been a fondly remembered spell with the Baggies.
There are more tales like these – albeit less cautionary - featuring the likes of Paul Robinson, Paul McShane, Isaiah Brown, George Thorne and others. You can only hope that Albion’s promising up and comers don’t fall into the same traps.
In the fast-paced and money-driven world of football, instant gratification sometimes takes priority over loyalty and, more often than not, logical thinking. For his own sake, you hope it isn’t too late for Berahino to rectify his mistakes and revive his career.