Saido Berahino ‘regrets every moment’ of reaction to rejected Tottenham bids
Saido Berahino has opened up about his failed transfer to Tottenham in 2015, saying he “couldn’t get over it”.
West Brom turned down bids from Spurs for the now 26-year-old striker in the run-up to the August deadline.
Berahino’s reaction – which included tweeting he would never play for chairman Jeremy Peace before going on strike – was widely criticised.
“I regret every moment of it, because I didn’t handle it well,” he said.
Berahino attracted the interest of then Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino after scoring 20 goals in the 2014-15 season, aged just 21.
He was even touted for an England call-up, but his career quickly nose-dived.
In the five seasons since the transfer saga, Berahino has scored just 19 goals in club and international football.
“I didn’t know what to do, I got caught up in the hype. I didn’t handle the situation properly, I let it get hold of me. The people around me at the time didn’t know what to do either. Bad news travels fast.
“The media is there to do their job, they build you up and when you are ready to come back down, you will come back down like a roller coaster. I wasn’t focusing on the media, I was more concerned on my career and what I was going through emotionally.”
Tony Pulis, who was appointed West Brom manager midway through the striker’s breakthrough season, attempted to bring him back into the fold but slowly lost patience, saying his fitness and mental levels were not right after Berahino completed a £12 million move to Stoke in January 2017.
It was also reported he served an eight-week FA suspension at the end of his time at the Hawthorns for failing a drugs test.
It took Berahino 35 appearances to register his first goal at Stoke, by which time they had been relegated from the Premier League.
He would score just four more goals for the club before being released in June 2019, a month after being convicted for drink driving.
The Burundi-born forward is now trying to rebuild his career with Belgian First Division A side Waragem.
He scored three goals in his first four matches following a summer move and, after 14 appearances, has already equalled the tally of five goals he managed in two-and-a-half years with Stoke.
Berahino believes he is now slowly turning a corner and, thanks to help from new coach and mentor Francky Dury, is learning to accept the responsibility for his own actions – both on and off the pitch.