The January transfer window often sees clubs paying inflated fees for players, due to the selling clubs bumping up their asking price when they know the buying club is desperate for said player. And the latest player to see his asking price sky rocket is West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino.
The 21-year-old has caught the eye, after scoring eight goals in 20 Premier League games for the Midlands outfit this season, and reports are suggesting Liverpool are weighing up a £20M bid for the youngster. Considering how their big spending on English talent has landed them into so much trouble in the past – spending £60M on Steward Downing & Andy Carroll – why are Liverpool entertaining so much on a player so raw.
Berahino has impressed this season, but he has plenty to learn. His recent form has taken a big his since the speculation start to reach the club, with the former Northampton, Peterborough and Brentford man having scored just one goal in his last 11 Premier League outings.
Last season, the England U21 international scored 11 goals in all competitions, breaking through with some big goals against elite clubs. He’s certainly a talent, but is he really worth £20M? West Brom want to keep him, but the striker himself has said he’d consider his options if a club could offer him European football.
“If a top club comes for him in then we will sit down and talk about it. But it would take a lot of money, I think, and it would have to be one of the big clubs,” said Albion manager Tony Pulis.
Liverpool have been heavily criticised this summer for spending the Luis Suarez transfer money on quantity not quality. They paid around £25M for Adam Lallana, at the same time Chelsea bought Cesc Fabregas for the same fee. It speaks volumes about their scouting staff and advisors, as in the past the Reds have always paid above value for in-form players, rather than targeting outstanding individuals who have excelled on a larger scale – £18M for Glen Johnson, £21M for Robbie Keane, £16M for Ryan Babel, £16M for Dirk Kuyt, £13M for El-Hadji Diouf etc.
But despite all the wasted money, and frequent criticism down the years and recently, Liverpool still won’t deviate from their flawed transfer policy. Berahino is a one-dimensional player, who provides goals and little else. For the money Brendan Rodgers is being speculated about, strikers have to be all-rounders to provide value for money, which the 21-year-old is not.
So will Liverpool use their heads and avoid signing the overpriced Berahino? Or will the Reds continue their suicidal spending spree, paying over the odds for an in-form player at a lower league club?