Everton are reportedly lining up a bid for West Bromwich Albion striker, Saido Berahino. 23-year-old Berahino has just six months remaining on his current deal, meaning that he is allowed to speak to clubs in the New Year ahead of a possible free transfer in the summer. However, rumours of interest, both at home and abroad, may persuade Toffees’ manager, Ronald Koeman, to bring in the striker for a reduced fee in January.
Everton look to strengthen up front
Everton are undoubtedly in need of goals. They have scored 23 in 18 Premier League games, with striker Romelu Lukaku responsible for nearly 40% of those. Koeman is looking for someone to share the goalscoring load, particularly given that Lukaku is attracting plenty of high-profile interest over a potential summer move. Everton appear unlikely to secure Champions League football, so the Belgian may be tempted to leave Merseyside if that were on offer somewhere else.
That said, talks over a new contract are underway. Koeman is most likely hoping that Berahino can either provide back-up or be a foil for Lukaku. However, the West Brom man has provided little evidence of his potential in recent times.
Berahino has plenty to prove
Fans could be forgiven for asking what has happened to Berahino. He was highly sought after throughout 2015, and was the subject of bids in excess of £20 million from the likes of Tottenham Hotspur.
Aged just 21, Berahino enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2014/15. He scored 20 goals in all competitions for the Baggies and was widely considered a future star for England. However, after seeing his dream move to Tottenham fall through, Berahino’s performances have suffered dramatically.
He found the net only four times in the Premier League last season and is yet to register at all this term. His last goal came in late-February. In fact, Berahino hasn’t played since 10th September amid fitness concerns. Manager Tony Pulis has sent him to a training camp in France after ruling him unfit and overweight.
If the proposed move to Everton goes through, Berahino will have his work cut out to prove himself to players, fans, and coaching staff at Goodison Park.