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Saido Berahino blames “selfish” West Brom owner for ruining his career and rejecting Tottenham bids

Saido Berahino

The striker was a wanted man after scoring 20 goals in all competitions for the Baggies in 2014/15 and Spurs (opens in new tab) soon came knocking.

However, West Brom (opens in new tab) rejected four bids for Berahino after turning down the player’s transfer request.

Berahino hit out at chairman Jeremy Pearce on social media and was fined for his comments after saying he would never play for the club while Pearce was at the helm.

The transfer saga resulted in the forward being dropped by manager Tony Pulis and his career has been on a downward slide ever since.

The Burundi international left English football this summer when he departed Stoke City (opens in new tab) to join Belgian outfit Zulte Waregem.

Looking back on that summer in an interview with Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad (opens in new tab), the 26-year-old made no mistake about how disruptive it was to his progress.

“That’s when the misery started,” he said, as reported by Sport Witness. (opens in new tab)

“As a player you want to go to the top and that was Tottenham. But the owner of West Brom wanted to sell the club.

“And I – two times the team’s top scorer, young international, twice Young Player of The Year – was the most valuable asset of West Brom. That’s why he didn’t let me go. If he sold me, he couldn't sell the club for so much money.

“I didn’t understand that and couldn’t handle it. It was a selfish decision. I took it personally.

“I can now give lay it to rest, but that took me years. I blamed others. It killed me.”

Berahino has started the season in good form for his new club, scoring three goals in five games in the Jupiler Pro League.

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.