The loaded gun at White Hart lane has turned into a shiny piece of artillery with no bullets or ammunition.
The Raheem Sterling saga has set a terrible precedent for the English Premier League. A good young player has the ability now to ruthlessly force a move away from the club that developed them.
What once bound them was guilt, but Raheem Sterling was a slippery slope and it’s just good business now.
West Brom have reportedly rejected £21 million and £22 million bids from Tottenham Hotspur for Saido Berahino this transfer window. Suddenly news came through that Berahino had unfollowed West Brom on Twitter – an act with dreadful symbolism in the social media world we live in.
What’s more, he didn’t play against Chelsea in West Brom’s 3-2 defeat last weekend. Berahino wants to leave – he made it clear online. The World Wide Web has become a powerful tool for football players.
Good young English players moving to big clubs typically has never ended well. Scott Sinclair, Luke Shaw, Wilfried Zaha, Jack Rodwell, Adam Johnson, Victor Moses, the list drags on and on. All of them either wasted time or saw their careers stalled.
Tony Pulis has been quite outspoken about what a messy transfer window it’s been for the Midlands club. In particular how passionately he feels about keeping Berahino at the Baggies.
“He’s a young lad who needs to be protected. There’s loads of stuff going on in his mind ,” Pulis said.
Berahino has had two reasonably successful seasons at West Brom in the EPL with a return of five goals in 2013-14 and 14 goals in 2014-15. Those stats don’t quite jump out at you but he’s only 22 and what’s more important is that he is English. Most promising English youngsters these days are talked up to such a level that they simply cannot cope with all the hype.
Should Berahino stay for another season or two? Maybe. He will mature and surely only go from strength to strength. Yet there’s money on the end of a big move. Big games too. What’s more is there are some rare success stories. James Milner, Daniel Sturridge, Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Theo Walcott and maybe even Ashley Young.
The problem is there is no current model for a young English player’s career progression. There’s an element of confusion. Should I stay I should he go? The market is huge for them due to the squad demands in the EPL. There’s a larger element of temptation than anywhere else. They are so overpriced it’s ridiculous.
Let’s compare this to Spain. Their players rise through the youth ranks of places like Valencia and carefully construct a technique and playing style. They create an identity at their home club, then when they are about 24-25 they make a big move. Examples include Juan Mata, David Silva, Santi Cazorla and Fernando Torres. They tend to wait until they know they are ready.
While it’s uncertain what is best for Berahino, what we all can surely see is that he has gone about making attempts to leave the club in a bad fashion. It’s really poor form turning your back on the club that made you. Does he think he’s ready for a big club? Is it just good business these days?
He’s been a very naughty little boy.