Pochettino wanted Stoke's Berahino at Spurs - Was it a close escape?

Saido Berahino of Stoke City shows appreciation to the fans after the Premier League match between Stoke City and Leicester City at Bet365 Stadium on November 4, 2017 in Stoke on Trent,...

Mauricio Pochettino was once desperate to sign Saido Berahino from West Brom for Tottenham - what could have been if he'd landed the Stoke striker?

Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur reacts during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on October 22, 2017 in London, England.Mauricio Pochettino, manager of Tottenham Hotspur, reacts during the Premier League match against Liverpool at Wembley Stadium.

In the summer of 2015, Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino was desperate to sign a new striker for his squad.

Eventually Heung-min Son arrived from Bayer Leverkusen in a £22m deal (BBC), but the player Pochettino really wanted was then West Bromwich Albion attacker Saido Berahino, comparing the pursuit to a frustrated love affair.

Saido Berahino of Stoke City shows appreciation to the fans after the Premier League match between Stoke City and Leicester City at Bet365 Stadium on November 4, 2017 in Stoke on Trent,...Saido Berahino of Stoke City shows appreciation to the fans after the Premier League match against Leicester City.

"It's like when you are in love with some lady," the Argentine told the BBC. "There are a lot of women around the world, but you want only one.

"Sometimes it is impossible. It's about love. And in football it is the same."

At the time Berahino was on the back of scoring 20 goals in 45 games in all competitions for the Baggies during the 2014/15 season, but Spurs had two bids rejected as West Brom refused to budge.

The forward reacted badly, leading to a breakdown in relations between the Englishman and the Hawthorns hierarchy and his form also took a downward turn.

Saido Berahino of West Bromwich Albion celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between West Bromwich Albion and Peterborough United at The...Saido Berahino of West Bromwich Albion celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match against Peterborough United.

In January, Berahino was sold to Stoke City for £12m (BBC) and has since played 21 times for the Potteries, failing to score a single goal. Since the start of the 2015/16 campaign the 24-year-old has netted seven times in 62 matches. During the same period Son has scored 32 goals in 103 appearances.

Berahino has gone from getting an England call-up and the verge of his first senior cap, to becoming almost a figure of fun at the Britannia Stadium for his lack of effectiveness in the box.

Tottenham may feel they had a lucky escape, but Pochettino was so keen on signing the attacker that there is a sense of what could have been; especially with the 45-year-old's growing reputation of developing young English talent.

If Berahino had made the switch to North London would he be considered among the country's best now? Annoyingly, we will never know.

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