Stoke City’s latest addition Saido Berahino admits there’s been regrets during his time at West Brom, but has now learned from his mistakes.
The Potters secured West Brom’s want-away striker after a £12m sum was agreed. Berahino has managed to feature in just four games for West Brom this campaign – the 23-year-old hasn’t played competitively since September 10 – a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth.
After his rift with West Brom’s boardroom and manager Tony Pulis became public, the 23-year-old has struggled to remain focused with his duties on the field, but Berahino says he’s excited to change that, and learn from previous mistakes.
“I have waited so long for this opportunity, and I am just so happy that I can focus on my football again. I am excited,” the England U-21 International said.
“The last two years have been difficult for me but I am a stronger person now and am looking to create great memories here.
“I have regrets and I could have handles things better, but I was young and you live and learn from those mistakes.”
Berahino added: “It was hard for me, especially because the West Brom fans didn’t really know what was going on.”
As a 21-year-old, Berahino was integral to West Brom avoiding relegation – a total of 14 goals in 38 Premier League appearances helped The Baggies to a 13th place finish in 2014/15.
However, Berahino – who has played 11, scored 10 for England U-21’s, had a tough time recapturing his form in the 2015/16 Premier League season, scoring just four times in 31 games.
With a move to Stoke City working under The Potters boss Mark Hughes, Berahino embraces a new set of challenges, and admits it all feels a bit special.
“I am only 23, and I have a lot to learn – I know that,” he said. “I believe it will take time to get back to where I was, but I will get there.
“I am just so grateful that Stoke came after me window after window, and showed tremendous faith in me.
“I made this move because everything about it was right for me. The manager, the players, the staff. It feels special.”