The news doing the rounds last night and today is that Newcastle are going after 21 year-old England U21 striker Saido Berahino of West Brom, who has been selected by England U21 coach Gareth Southgate for the upcoming European U21 Championships to be held in the Czech Republic over the last two weeks of June.
Saido Berahino – playing against Newcastle last season
Berahino has played for every single England Youth side from U15 through U21, and he’s got 10 goals in 14 appearances for the England U21 side, so it’s no wonder manager Gareth Southgate has him in the England squad.
In fact in 47 total appearances for England Youth sides over the last six years he’s scored 24 goals.
Last season Berahino had a breakthrough season scoring 20 goals in 45 total appearances for West Brom, and 14 of those were in the Premier League in 38 appearances.
But his transfer fee this summer is also likely to be (very) high, because he improved significantly last season, and some top clubs in England will be after him.
England U21 manager Gareth Southgate certainly thinks that as he talked about Saido:.
“Saido is a quality finisher. He’s been a pleasure to work with,” “It’s clear there have been a couple of dips off the field in the last year. What I like about him is that there is always recognition.”
“There’s never a denial. You hope as time goes on there are fewer dips and then none at all. He has got a fantastic chance of being a top player.”
“This year he got himself physically right in pre-season, in great shape,’’ “The reward was getting in West Brom’s first team. Working with Tony Pulis added tactical understanding.”
It’s good that Saido seems to be maturing quickly and handled two off the field problems well during last season.
Newcastle are also looking for players of good character – and that’s especially true when a lot of our players seemed to almost give up when playing for John Carver this year – and we had a terrible eight game losing streak for the first time ever in the Premier League.
There are reports today that Newcastle have the Charlie Austin deal tied up – so we really hope that’s true.
And if we can then get Saido through the door, we’d have two top English strikers at Newcastle for next season and that would be amazing – and the fans would be really buzzing.
If that happens you would even think that Newcastle are building a side who want to win something next season.