West Brom striker Saido Berahino has every right to feel royally stitched up by Tottenham if the sentiment of a report from the Evening Standard is to be believed.
The headline of said article, “Tottenham transfer news: Spurs worried Saido Berahino would disrupt squad spirit”, outlines the contents of the reportage.
Within it’s column inches the paper’s Simon Bird suggests:
“While they [Spurs] still rate Berahino highly and are aware of the risk of being left short up front if Harry Kane gets injured, they are wary about unsettling the strong harmony that is currently within the group.”
If Bird hasn’t got his wires crossed, then the Lilywhites are guilty of punishing the seldom-seen Baggies starlet for the same self-possessed attitude they sought to harness in order to push through a move to in the summer.
Having struck 20 times in 45 games for a mediocre West Brom team last term, the London club and doubtless Maurico Pochettino to at least some extent, were sufficiently interested in the striker to offer £23m for him on deadline day.
Since then, Berahino has been marginalised at the Hawthorns for his, admittedly, not particularly diplomatic attempts to secure a switch, playing 90 minutes in the Premier League just once.
Having inspired his rebelliousness and subsequent exile with their heavy-handed attempts to bring him to White Hart Lane, for Spurs to now be hand-wringing about the effect buying him would have on the coherence of their squad is hypocritical.
Having been finally granted the move he fought so hard for, the Burundi-born goal-getter would hardly be likely to begin throwing his toys out of the pram post haste.
In November 2014, West Brom colleague and England international Ben Foster had the following to say about the supposedly divisive figure:
“He is always in the gym and watches what he eats. His body fat is super low.
“He’s always working on the training ground and it is nice to see because someone of that age it is very rare you see that.
“He’s matured. He’s always one of the first ones in. He will do a lot in the gym.”
Not exactly the picture of a team-spirit-destroying snake in the grass then…