Is Saido Berahino best bet in Spurs’ striker search?
According to reports, striker Saido Berahino is still top of Tottenham’s transfer list, as the London club, 8/1 with Coral for a top four finish, continues it’s quest to land a striker this summer.
With an £18m bid having already been rebuffed by West Bromwich Albion for their academy graduate, Coral experts ask: is Berahino worth all the bother?
Spurs seem reluctant to fork out the mooted £25m asking price, and who could blame them? The Burundi-born poacher, who according to press has submitted a transfer request, still has much to prove.
Yet, the White Hart Lane hierarchy should only be chasing sharpshooters they value around that mark. Of course they will want to buy as cheaply as possible, but time is running out.
So, Tottenham, evens to end the term in the top six, must decide to back Berahino’s potential, and the pricetag that comes with that, or look elsewhere and quickly.
This season has arguably gotten off to such a slow start, with Mauricio Pochettino’s men yet to win a Premier League game, due to dithering in the transfer market.
Spurs’ poor striking roster has been named the chief culprit, with goal hero Harry Kane also notably yet to get off the mark. The England international will kick into gear eventually, but badly needs back-up.
As a former England Under-21 teammate and competitor for a forward berth, Berahino will already be more than familiar with Kane’s playing style, which cannot be overvalued at this late stage in the window.
The Londoners would be lucky to find a player able to form an understanding so quickly with their star man. That is, if they are not targeting the cream of the crop.
As Manchester United have already proven somewhat foolishly, squabbling over a few million can cost you a game-changer. So, with, according to coach Tony Pulis, “not just one club but 15 clubs” interested in Berahino, Tottenham should stop stalling.
The debate rages on over whether the highly-rated Albion attacker is all he is cracked up to be, or if his ceiling is limited to being just a decent top-tier scorer such as Jermain Defoe.
There would certainly be no shame in that, and Spurs would surely jump at the chance to land a player with the promise to be as effective as Defoe in his prime.
Can he be as prolific as Kane? To compare Berahino to strikers present and past is a disservice, though it is unlikely the 22-year-old would flop like expensive disappointments Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado.
Gambling on youth is always a risk, but paid-off for the capital club last campaign and they should dabble again.
Berahino hit 14 in the league in 2014/15, including spot-kicks, and 20 across all competitions, making him one of England’s deadliest. Not bad for a youngster in a struggling side, being shunted around in different roles and with little service.
Surely he would understand Kane’s current predicament, then, but together it could be an exciting partnership to thrive.
With all the tricks and the tools in his locker to be lethal, speedy Berahino is a natural and fine finisher, and if used correctly can bring bundles of goals.
Watch Berahino’s highlights:
Just ask West Brom. Albion sorely missed the marksman against Chelsea, with James Morrison missing a penalty the youngster, who bagged a brace against the Blues last term, would have been first in line to take.
Tottenham can look for a more proven player, and may be wise to, if they are not prepared to develop Berahino, and would prefer him to be Kane’s supporting act.
A great foil he could be, but with the potential to star in his own right, being shoehorned out wide or sat on the bench would be a waste for both club and player.
Should Spurs field Berahino and Kane as a front two, or alternate the pair between frontman and support striker, however, Pochettino could have England’s most promising poachers on his hands.
If Tottenham don’t capture the dangerman, it may be more than £25m they pay, if the cost is missing out on continental football.