West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino is quickly climbing the ranks of quality forwards in the Premier League. Berahino, born in the small landlocked African country of Burundi, has been awarded for his outstanding play this season with his first senior call-up to the England national team.
The 21-year-old striker has scored eight goals in 14 total matches so far this campaign for West Brom, including seven Premier League goals (fourth best in the league). Berahino has represented England’s youth teams well since 2009, as he has scored 24 goals in 46 career youth national matches.
Despite his success in England’s youth ranks, Berahino began receiving major attention during last year’s Premier League season. The striker jumped onto the scene as a 20-year-old, scoring nine total goals during the 2013-14 campaign. Even though he is still a youngster, Berahino has shown outstanding composure and finishing abilities from the forward position.
With Berahino shining at The Hawthorns, West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace recently made a statement proclaiming that the club wishes to hold on to the highly-rated player as long as they can. Peace said, “I wish to assure our supporters that Saido Berahino will not be going anywhere in January or, I hope, next summer. It is not in our minds at all to trade a footballer the club has worked so diligently to develop.”
Peace also went on to say, “He is contracted to play for West Bromwich Albion until at least the summer of 2017 and we are happy to sit down with him and discuss extending that commitment on terms which recognize his continuing improvement as a footballer and his growing importance to our own plans. We have begun that process by opening preliminary talks with Saido’s representatives.”
It is being reported that Peace and West Brom are willing to double Berahino’s present salary in the process of extending his contract. The 21-year-old’s current deal, which he just signed in December of 2013, is at £12,000 per week. Prior to the 2013 re-signing, Berahino was on the Baggies pay roll for just £850 per week.
Berahino’s fast progression has seen clubs such as Liverpool, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur become reportedly interested in the West Brom prospect. Peace both acknowledged this and stood firm that The Baggies want to hold onto Berahino by saying, “We are delighted that this development has now taken him all the way to the senior England squad. However, it seems to have also generated unwarranted and excitable speculation about his future – which I wish to stress remains very firmly aligned to this football club.”