News Live Scores
Transfers

'I regret every moment' - Berahino opens up on failed Tottenham Hotspur transfer

14:03 GMT 25/01/2020
Saido Berahino - Zulte-Waregem
The Burundi international has reflected on his botched transfer to the Lilywhites during his time with the Baggies

Saido Berahino has reminisced on his failed transfer to Tottenham Hotspur while at West Bromwich Albion and admitted his regret on how he handled the situation.

The Lilywhites managed by Mauricio Pochettino showed interest in signing the Burundi international in the summer of 2015 following his impressive form in the 2014-15 season, where he bagged 20 goals.

West Brom, however, rejected Spurs’ offers for the then 21-year-old which left the forward frustrated, leading him to vow he will never play for the club under chairman Jeremy Peace and also embarked on a self-exile.

Reflecting on the incident, Berahino regrets his reaction to the botched transfer and admitted of not handling the situation well.

"[That is] one moment in my life I can say I couldn't get over it. I regret every moment of it," Berahino told BBC.

"I didn't know what to do, I got caught up in the hype. I didn't handle the situation properly, I let it get hold of me. The people around me at the time didn't know what to do either. Bad news travels fast.

"The media is there to do their job, they build you up and when you are ready to come back down, you will come back down like a roller coaster.

“I wasn't focusing on the media, I was more concerned about my career and what I was going through emotionally."

Berahino later moved to Stoke City in January 2017 for a fee of £12 million where he endured a torrid time, scoring five goals in 57 appearances.

In May, the former England youth international was convicted of drink-driving and handed a £75,000 fine while banning him from driving for 30 months.

A month later the forward was released by Stoke and finally found a new home in Belgium, joining Zulte-Waregem.

Berahino believes he is now gradually getting his career back on track with the help of Waregem manager and mentor Francky Dury.

"The love of the game is there now, the passion, the responsibilities I have here have taught me so much about the game,” he continued.

"The coach - we talk about the game every day and he has helped me be more open about football, help my teammates, speak more freely, be a leader.

"To be here for six months and given such responsibilities has made me happy and to be a role model for a lot of these guys. It has been a great challenge."

Berahino played a key role as captain of Burundi, helping them to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt for the first time in their history.  

"During a game in Burundi everyone stops, everyone is watching. When we qualified for Africa Nations Cup, the whole place stopped and we partied for four days straight,” he added.

“Me being captain is huge and the love you get from the fans is huge, it doesn't matter how bad you are, they will just lift your spirits to the max."