Berahino playing for West Bromwich Albion in 2014
|Full name||Saido Berahino|
|Date of birth||4 August 1993|
|Place of birth||Bujumbura, Burundi|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|West Bromwich Albion|
|2004–2010||West Bromwich Albion|
|2010–||West Bromwich Albion||70||(19)|
|2011–2012||→ Northampton Town (loan)||14||(6)|
|2012||→ Brentford (loan)||8||(4)|
|2012||→ Peterborough United (loan)||10||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 24 May 2015.
† Appearances (Goals).
He spent time out on loan for Football League clubs Northampton Town, Brentford and Peterborough United before making his Premier League debut for West Bromwich Albion. He made his first starts for the club in the 2013–14 season, scoring a hat-trick against Newport County, and the winning goal at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
Born in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, Berahino played football as a child with a ball of plastic bags tied up with laces. His father was killed in 1997 during the Burundian Civil War. He travelled to England alone at the age of 10, fleeing the ongoing war to join his mother, brother and sisters who had already been granted asylum in Newtown, Birmingham. He could not locate his family on arrival, and was put in a care home. After his mother Liliane was traced, immigration officials had to administer a DNA test to confirm their relationship.
Berahino attended Aston Manor School, where he gained ten GCSE certificates and competed in basketball and athletics in addition to football. His childhood friends included Ateeq Javid and Recordo Gordon, both of whom went on to play County Championship cricket for Warwickshire. Initially speaking only French and having played street football in his native Burundi, Berahino attributed his love for the sport with helping him integrate quickly into English society.
West Bromwich Albion
Berahino signed for the West Bromwich Albion Centre of Excellence in 2004 at under-12 level, joining from inner-city team Phoenix United. He progressed through the youth system of the Baggies and in summer 2011, he signed a professional contract with them.
On 20 October 2011, he joined League Two side Northampton Town on a one-month loan deal. He made his professional debut for the Cobblers two days later in 2–1 defeat to Bradford City at Valley Parade, playing the full 90 minutes. His loan was extended twice, on 3 November and on 5 January 2012. Berahino scored 6 league goals in 14 appearances for Northampton, although they were struggling in League Two.
On 9 February 2012, Berahino went out on loan again, this time at a higher level than before, by joining League One side Brentford through to the end of the season. He scored his first two goals for Brentford after coming on as a substitute against Carlisle United and also scored both goals in a 2–0 win over Exeter City one month later. After the match, the club's caretaker manager Alan Kernaghan praised Berahino and said: "Saido got the nod and he did well, but this was win [sic] built on a strong defensive performance as shown by another clean sheet." Due to arguments with manager Uwe Rösler, the loan spell with Brentford ended early and he returned to West Bromwich Albion on 3 April 2012, having scored 4 goals in 7 appearances.
He signed on loan for Championship club Peterborough United on 1 October, in a deal until 2 January 2013. The following day, he made his debut in a 2–0 win at Barnsley, replacing Emile Sinclair after 65 minutes. On 27 October, Berahino scored twice in a 3–0 win over Derby County. At Peterbrough United, manager Darren Ferguson said that Berahino would play more regularly. He played ten matches on his loan spell, which was cut short by a knee injury.
At the start of the 2013–14 season, manager Steve Clarke suggested that Berahino should become West Bromwich Albion's main centre forward, instead of the club signing a new one. Of their strikers from the previous season, Romelu Lukaku had left for Everton and Peter Odemwingie had fallen out of favour at the club.
On 27 August 2013 he made his first start for West Brom in a League Cup tie against Newport County and scored a hat-trick in a 3–0 home win. He made his first league appearance for the Baggies when he came on as a substitute in a 2–0 home defeat against Swansea City on 1 September 2013, replacing Scott Sinclair for the last 15 minutes of the match. On 28 September, he replaced the injured Sinclair in the first half and scored his first Premier League goal, the winner in a 2–1 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford. He scored again on 2 November, opening a 2–0 home win over Crystal Palace. Berahino extended his contract with West Bromwich Albion on 2 December, committing him to the club until June 2017.
Berahino scored the last goal of a 3–3 draw away to West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground on 28 December. His penalty four days later won the match against Newcastle United, ending a 10-match streak without a win for the team, and on 26 April he again netted the only goal, to defeat West Ham at home.
Berahino scored both of West Brom's goals in their first game of the 2014–15 Premier League season, a draw against Sunderland on 16 August 2014. He scored twice more for the Baggies on 28 September, netting in either side of the half-time whistle as West Brom defeated Burnley 4–0. He equalled his league tally from the previous season with a penalty in a 2–1 loss to Liverpool on 4 October, having won the penalty after being fouled by Dejan Lovren.
On 20 October 2014 Berahino again scored against Manchester United, netting West Brom's second in a home Premier League fixture which ended 2–2. He converted an added-time penalty at The Hawthorns against Crystal Palace on 1 November to secure a draw with the same score. His good start to the season prompted the club to consider a new contract worth over £50,000 per week, but discussion of it was put on hold in late November due to his arrest on suspicion of drink driving.
On 3 January 2015 in the FA Cup third round, Berahino scored four goals in a 7–0 win against Gateshead. He did not celebrate any of these goals, which brought questions to new manager Tony Pulis who explained "you should go and see him in the dressing room, he's more happy in there". Berahino later stated "I was just handling business and acting professionally and that's it".
In February 2015, West Bromwich Albion abandoned their contract talks with Berahino, and said they would consider offers above £20 million to sell him at the end of the season. The club had been put off by his conduct, as well as an unauthorised interview with Sky Sports in which he declared that he was playing in order to get a transfer to a "bigger" club. On 11 February, Berahino scored his 10th goal of the Premier League season, and fifteenth overall, concluding a 2–0 home win over Swansea City. Three days later, he scored the team's final goal in a 4–0 defeat of West Ham United to put the Baggies into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the first time since 2008. On 28 February, Berahino netted his 17th goal of the season across all competitions, scoring the only goal of the game after 72 seconds for a league victory against Southampton.
Away at Manchester United on 2 May, he conceded a penalty by handling Antonio Valencia's cross, but Boaz Myhill saved from Robin van Persie and West Bromwich Albion won 1–0. Sixteen days later, Berahino scored twice in a 3–0 win over recently crowned league champions Chelsea, the second goal was his 20th of the season, a penalty after he was fouled by John Terry. He finished the season with the club's Player's Player of the Year Award.
Regarding his allegiance in international football, Berahino said in 2013:
|“||It’s a non-starter. I want to play at the best level with the best players at the best tournaments. Burundi is motherland to me. I will always be a Burundian regardless of what happens, even if I become a successful Premier League player. I will still have the Burundi culture in me. Playing for England is totally different. They have given me a second chance in life, provided my family with a different type of lifestyle. I feel very, very grateful to what England have done for me and my family. So, when I play for England, I play with passion and excitement, joy and desire to win.||”|
Berahino has made appearances at various youth levels for England. He represented England under-17 as they won the 2010 European Championship in Liechtenstein, scoring the equaliser in the final group game as they came from behind to defeat Turkey 2–1. In 2012, he represented the under-19 team at the European Championship in Estonia, helping them reach the semi-finals before losing in extra time to Greece.
He was called up to the England under-21 squad for the first time for the match against Scotland on 13 August 2013. He scored on his England under-21 debut on 6 September, a European qualifier against Moldova in his side's 1–0 win, this game was also Gareth Southgate's first game in charge. Four days later, Berahino equalised for a 1–1 draw against Finland in the next qualifier away in Tampere. On 15 October, Berahino scored twice in a 4–0 qualifying win against Lithuania, taking his tally for the team to 4 goals in 3 games.
Berahino was yellow-carded after the first of his two goals in a 3–0 win against Finland under-21 in a European qualifier on 15 November 2013, for lifting his shirt to reveal a message to his late father, who died in the Burundian Civil War. He was voted the 2014 Under-21 Player of the Year by fans, finishing ahead of Harry Kane with 16% of the vote after a year in which he scored at a rate of a goal every other game, including three to help the team qualify for the European Championship. Berahino has the all-time third-highest goal tally for the England under-21 side with 10 goals in 13 appearances, behind Francis Jeffers and Alan Shearer.
On 6 November 2014, England manager Roy Hodgson — who promoted Berahino to the West Bromwich Albion first team in 2011 — named Berahino in his squad for the first time, ahead of a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Slovenia at Wembley Stadium on the 15th and a friendly against Scotland at Celtic Park three days afterwards. Berahino did not take part in either of the senior England matches for which he was called up.
In March 2015, Berahino was approached to represent his native Burundi at international level, a decision which can be taken as he has not played for England in a competitive senior international. In May, he was named in the England under-21 team for the European Championship in the Czech Republic.
Style of play
Berahino's England under-21 manager Gareth Southgate has said that he has an ability to create space on the pitch for his teammates, and has become physically and mentally stronger since he began working with him. West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Ben Foster stated that Berahino is more committed in training than other players of his age, and follows a healthy diet. His former West Bromwich Albion teammate Steven Reid said that Berahino's attitude to training improved as a result of dealing with two "turning points", namely his expulsion from Brentford and knee injury at Peterborough.
- As of match played 24 May 2015.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|West Bromwich Albion||2010–11||Premier League||0||0||0||0||0||0||—||0||0|
|Northampton Town (loan)||2011–12||League Two||14||6||1||0||—||—||15||6|
|Brentford (loan)||2011–12||League One||8||4||—||—||—||8||4|
|Peterborough United (loan)||2012–13||Championship||10||2||—||—||—||10||2|
In April 2014, Berahino apologised to West Bromwich Albion after videos of him inhaling nitrous oxide for recreational purposes were discovered by the media. He confessed that "This was very poor judgement on my part and not the right example to be setting. At the time, I wasn’t fully aware of the serious health risks involved but now I know, I won’t be doing it again". However, Berahino denied allegations that he drove 120 miles under the influence of the substance.
On 22 October 2014, Berahino was arrested on the M6 near Lymm, Cheshire, on suspicion of drink driving. He was charged with the offence in January 2015, and admitted to it before North Cheshire Magistrates in Runcorn, who gave him a 12-month driving ban and a fine of £3,400.
In April 2015, Berahino set up his own charity foundation to help WaterAid improve the lives of disadvantaged people in Britain and abroad. He stated "Having grown up in Burundi, I know only too well the devastating impact the lack of access to clean water or sanitation can have on families". His manager Pulis said that "His story is an inspiring one and this shows what I have been saying for several months now about his attitude and his growing maturity".
- "04 February 2015 Premier League Clubs submit Squad Lists" (PDF). Premier League. p. 46. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
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- "Squad stats: 2010/11". Soccerbase. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- "Squad stats: 2011/12". Soccerbase. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- "Games played by Saido Berahino in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- "Games played by Saido Berahino in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
- "Games played by Saido Berahino in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
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- Stuart, Paul (13 April 2014). "Watch: Baggies star Saido Berahino says sorry for puffing on 'hippy crack'". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
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- "West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino to launch charity foundation". Express & Star. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
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