Saido Berahino: West Brom striker needs time in fitness fight - Tony Pulis

Saido Berahino has not played for Albion since the 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth on 10 September
Saido Berahino has not played for Albion since the 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth on 10 September

West Bromwich Albion boss Tony Pulis says striker Saido Berahino is on the right road back to being a first-team force again, but must be given time and space in his fitness battle.

Berahino, 23, has not featured since 10 September and was put on a training regime for being unfit and overweight.

But he now sees the benefit of going to a conditioning camp, with Pulis saying: "It's what we've always wanted for him.

"Inwardly, he's now looking at himself and not everything and everybody else."

The Burundi-born England Under-21 international was on the verge of a first senior cap when he scored 20 times for Albion during the 2014-15 season.

That included four in Pulis's first game in charge - an FA Cup third-round tie against Gateshead in January 2015.

His form has suffered since he reacted angrily to Albion rejecting Tottenham Hotspur's bid for him in August 2015.

Berahino submitted a transfer request and was fined for posting on social media that he would never play for the club again, after which Albion rejected bids in the summer of 2016 from both Stoke City and Crystal Palace.

Pulis continued: "It would be absolutely wonderful if he hits the sort of form that he showed when I first came into the job.

"His statement says it all. The most important thing now is that he just gets himself sorted out, and that's the way he will get better and improve.

"We need to leave the kid alone and give him a couple of weeks' grace. No more questions and let's just let him get on with it."

Berahino's time with the Baggies

Berahino moved to England at the age of 10 in 2003 to join his mother and family in Birmingham, his father having been killed in a civil war in 1997.

He has scored 36 goals in his 121 appearances for Albion, 46 of which have been as a substitute.

But he has not scored since February, and he has been limited to just 245 minutes of action in four Premier League appearances this season, three of which he started.

His only full 90 minutes came in Albion's EFL Cup first-round tie at Northampton, when he also played 30 minutes of extra-time but then put his spot-kick wide as the Baggies lost in a penalty shoot-out.

  • 2004: Joined Albion at Under-12 level before turning professional in 2011.
  • August 2012: After loan spells at Northampton and Brentford and prior to a further loan at Peterborough, made his Albion debut against Yeovil in the League Cup second round. Won 4-2.
  • August 2013: First Albion goal v Newport in the League Cup second round. Scored all three goals in a 3-0 win.
  • September 2013: First Premier League appearance v Swansea. Lost 2-0.
  • September 2013: First Premier League goal v Manchester United. Won 2-1.
  • February 2016: Last goal v Crystal Palace in a 3-2 win.
  • September 2016: Last appearance v Bournemouth. Lost 1-0.

Top Stories