West Bromwich Albion’s England Under 21 striker Saido Berahino signed a new contract keeping him at the club until 2017, but the rest of the Baggies youth set up should see him as a role model. All of his hard work has finally paid off, and the future of West Brom looks very promising.
Berahino has been loaned out numerous times, to the likes of Peterborough and Northampton Town. He shone during his loan spells, earning praise from managers and players alike, before injury halted his spell at Borough.
He was ruled out for over 6 months, missing valuable game time to help develop and potentially break into the West Brom first team. He didn’t let is injury hold him back as he continued to work hard, earning a call up to the Albion first team in several pre-season friendlies.
His first preseason goal came against Greek side Atromitos where he shown a real poachers instinct, nipping in front of the goalkeeper to tap in. He tormented the away side all game, and was awarded the man of the match award. He linked up very well with fellow strikers Markus Rosenberg and Nicholas Anelka, gaining valuable experience in the process.
Since then, he has proven to the rest of the world what he is capable of, scoring a hat-trick against Newport in the League Cup and a fantastic winner against Manchester United against Old Trafford. He is a player with natural talent, but there is a long list of players at West Brom waiting to follow in his footsteps.
Much like Berahino, midfielder George Thorne suffered a lengthy injury, but is on the way back. Again much like Berahino he has been loaned out to a Championship club. Thorne has featured several times for Gianfranco Zola’s Watford and looks to have a bright future at West Brom when he returns in January. He has already featured for the club 10 times, impressing in a holding midfield role, particularly against Manchester United.
Winger Kemar Roofe has also recently joined League two side Cheltenham Town on loan after some stand out performances for the Under 21 side. He has the ability to score some fantastic goals, which he has proven in the under 21 league against the likes of Liverpool.
Defenders Donervon Daniels and Cameron Gayle are learning the trade at Gillingham and Shrewsbury respectively as they look to force their way into the Albion squad in the future.
If West Brom continue to develop players the way they currently do, the future looks very bright for the Baggies. They have talented youngsters coming through in every position, who are gaining valuable match day experience in the lower leagues before making the step up to the first team squad. It may be Berahino’s name in the lights at this moment in time, but with this rate of development, it won’t be long before another star of the future graces The Hawthorns pitch and dazzles the Baggies fans for years to come.