Monday 26 September 2016

Tony Pulis: One day I'll write a thesis about Saido Berahino transfer sagas

Published 27/08/2016 | 13:06

West Brom's Saido Berahino missed in their EFL Cup penalty shoot-out defeat to Northampton
West Brom's Saido Berahino missed in their EFL Cup penalty shoot-out defeat to Northampton

West Brom boss Tony Pulis believes Saido Berahino needs the transfer window to close before he can recapture his true form.

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The striker looked set to leave The Hawthorns this summer but it now looks likely he will stay with the Baggies not prepared to sell him until they find a replacement.

Time is running out ahead of Wednesday's deadline with Crystal Palace and Stoke having tabled bids around £20million for the former England Under-21 forward, who has one year left on his deal.

He missed several chances and then a penalty in the shoot-out as the Baggies lost to Northampton in the EFL Cup on Tuesday and has scored just once in his last 18 games.

The Baggies host Middlesbrough in the Premier League on Sunday and Pulis is hopeful Berahino - who threatened to strike last year when several bids from Tottenham were rejected - will return to his old self after the deadline.

"He'll be fine. Getting over the next three or four days will be massive for him," Pulis said.

"I just think, one day, I will write a thesis on it. It will be a long one. Is this the fourth or fifth window? It seems like about 20 with him. The kid has had to put up with it, you can't stop it, unfortunately. Some of the stories I could tell you.

"I was disappointed he never scored on Tuesday, his running stats were fantastic but he really should have scored five. He had three chances when it's just him and the keeper. One goes in and hopefully the gates open."

Berahino could have left had Albion not pulled the plug on a £15million deal to sign West Ham's Diafra Sakho over concerns with his fitness in August.

They are close to a loan deal for Southampton's Jay Rodriguez but Albion have only signed Matt Phillips from QPR and Everton loanee Brendan Galloway.

Several club-record bids for players have been tabled, but supporters have been left frustrated.

Pulis said: "I'm a custodian of the club and they are the real people. They have a right to say what they say, you have to accept it and I've always been one who will accept it.

"We have stagnated, for all sorts of reasons. Now's the time to get the players in and push the club forward."

Kane Wilson, 16, could become the first player born in the 21st century to appear in the Premier League, with Galloway struggling with a hamstring injury. The teenage defender made his debut in the EFL Cup defeat to Northampton on Tuesday and only picked up his GCSE results on Thursday.

Chris Brunt is also out with a knee injury but Ben Foster and Jonny Evans will return after being rested for the trip to the Cobblers.

Press Association

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