Saido Berahino scored the game-winning goal in West Brom’s 3-2 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday, his first goal in the Premier League since October.
Finally back in the starting lineup, Berahino looked to be the player that scored 20 goals last season for the Baggies.
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Berahino’s tumultuous season at The Hawthorns has been well documented, and the 22-year-old striker just recently apologized for his September outburst in which he threatened to never play for the club again.
Throughout this entire saga, manager Tony Pulis has been both supportive and critical of his young striker, always trying to balance what’s best for the player and what’s best for the club.
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Speaking after the win over Palace, Pulis said that if Berahino continues to score goals and focus on football, his much-wanted move away from West Brom will eventually come.
Everything will follow, whether now, tomorrow or the next day. If he is playing well, he will get the recognition. And the move. He wants to play for a top-four team.
I don’t think it is the money, it is the opportunity and the chance to show how good he is. You can’t take that from the boy. You can’t tell him not to want that.
He can’t go anywhere, he is with us now, and he has to get himself fit and put himself in that position again that he was last summer. If it happens, it happens. If not, he has to keep playing and that is what he has done.
Pulis would also add that Berahino’s inexperience as a professional played a part in how things unfolded, saying he gets “pushed from pillar to post” from outside influences.
Berahino’s performance against Crystal Palace shows how bright a talent he is, which makes things even more frustrating for Baggies’ supporters. If Berahino was playing at this top-level throughout the whole season, West Brom could very well find themselves in the top half of the table.