‘Saido Berahino has found a home with us so let’s all support him’ urges Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore

Saido Berahino’s move to Sheffield Wednesday was one of the most exciting of deadline day – exciting because it could go either way.

Saido Berahino in action for Stoke City in the Premier League, back in 2017. Picture: PA
Saido Berahino in action for Stoke City in the Premier League, back in 2017. Picture: PA

Few doubt the centre-forward’s ability but at 28 it remains unfulfilled.

Once talked about as an England player and infamously left in Tottenham Hotspur’s car park waiting in vain for them to agree a transfer fee with Stoke City, Berahino is now a Burundi international playing for a League One club after two years in the Belgian league. A failed drugs test and drink driving conviction have been other lowlights of the intervening years.

It is no great surprise few managers have found a bargepole long enough for them to touch Berahino with it. Having known him longer than most, Owls manager Darren Moore sees a more mature player with the potential to turn his career around.

“He was in the academy at West Bromwich Albion and I was the youth development coach so we met back then,” said Moore. “I wanted to bring him back (to England) and I’m really delighted. I know his game, what he can offer us, and the potential he has within him.

“We’ve worked this week and there have been signs about why I brought him in. He’s a clean finisher, with two good feet, and he has a wonderful knowledge and understanding of the game.

“As a man, he is a really caring individual.

“He’s a team player and he understands the dynamics of football. What has gone on in the past has gone. He is mature and knows what he wants from the game. He has a thirst and hunger for the game.

“It’s an opportunity for him to get better and be better than he has ever been and hopefully he will do that at this wonderful football club.

“He has got a lovely young family now and he just wants to get his head down here and play football.

“He has found a home with us so let’s all support him.

“Hopefully we will see him become a hero for us.”

Berahino has four Zulte Waregem appearances under his belt this season and could make his first for the Owls at Plymouth Argyle tomorrow.

“I have got no hesitation to start him if I need to,” insisted his manager.

“He has had a good week’s training. He has been back in with the boys and getting all his explosive work done.

“We feel that he has got enough training volume into his game. He just needs match-minutes now.”

But exciting, risky new signings are only part of the picture at Hillsborough, where 13 other new faces have been added in a complete revamp of the squad.

At the same time there has been a concerted effort to keep those retained after last season’s relegation.

Josh Windass and Dominic Iorfa have extended their deals, interest in Liam Palmer has been seen off and Sam Hutchinson signed a new 12-month contract in the summer saying: “Why would I not want to finish my career here?”

Now the club are talking to versatile Scotland international Callum Paterson, who joined just over a year ago on a contract which expires in June.

“We’re talking to him at the moment (about extending that),” confirmed Moore. “We’d like to see him extend, which would be great. He’s been a wonderful player for us and he’s somebody I feel has got a lot more still to offer.”