A knee injury would cut short Saido Berahino’s three-month loan deal from West Bromwich Albion in the 2012/13 season to just 10 games, scoring twice in a 3-0 home win over Derby County in the Championship.
But although the Burundi-born striker would go on to establish himself as the Baggies’ main centre forward the next campaign, following loanee Romelu Lukaku’s return to Chelsea, things would hit a downward spiral.
His second full season at the Hawthorns produced 20 goals in 45 appearances in all competitions, but tensions began to rise following his arrest for drink driving in October 2014.
West Brom stalled on a new £50,000-a-week deal following the news, and the player himself would later claim on Twitter that he’d never play for the club again, despite being named the club’s Players’ Player of the Year.
Despite having previously turned down interest from Tottenham Hotspur, they conceded it was time for both parties to part ways and were open to offers above £20 million at the end of the 2014/15 season.
It was Stoke who would take the plunge on the troubled frontman, forking out £12 million in January 2017 for a striker lacking goals and who’d go over two years without scoring a professional goal.
Stoke boss Mark Hughes even confessed that he knew Berahino had been banned for eight weeks during his time at West Brom, after testing positive for MDMA.
Things certainly didn’t improve. Following Stoke’s relegation to the Championship, he was later banished to Stoke’s under-23s for poor discipline and arrested for a second time for drinking driving in February 2019.
Following that, his contract was terminated in May 2019, despite being in contract until June 2022, and would join Belgian outfit Zulte Waregem two days later on a two-year deal.
It’s been a long fall from grace for the 26-year-old who, in November 2014, was called up to the England national team – although never making an appearance.
Hopefully his time in Belgium, with six league goals in 18 appearances currently to his name, will help the troubled forward re-kickstart his career.
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