West Brom manager Tony Pulis does not believe that Saido Berahino has played his last game for the club. The controversial striker netted a brace as the Baggies were held 2-2 at home to League One promotion hopefuls Peterborough United in the fourth round of the FA Cup on 30 January, with many people speculating that he will finally seal a move away from The Hawthorns before the transfer deadline.
Berahino was the subject of four separate bids from Tottenham during the summer of 2015 and vowed not to play for West Brom again after being denied an exit on the final day of the window. While that threat was never carried out, the 22-year-old has been reduced to a bit-part role in the west Midlands since, starting just eight Premier League matches so far this season.
Despite that alarming drop off in form, however, there has been no shortage of interest in the player this month. Although Tottenham are believed to be on the verge of completing a deal to sign Fulham's Moussa Dembele, The Mirror report that they are also plotting one final offer for Berahino before the market closes for business at 23.00 GMT on 1 February. Newcastle are expected to do likewise amid possible rival interest from the likes of Stoke, yet Pulis does not think that his West Brom career is over just yet.
"It's nice for [Berahino] to get 90 minutes under his belt because that was important today," he was quoted as saying by FourFourTwo. "He is a good finisher. He's not as sharp, he's not as fit as we'd want him to be, but he's missed half the season and that's going to be a problem for us.
"His goals are so, so important for us and he's shown that again today. Everything that happens financially at the football club will be determined by the chairman, but personally, I don't think it will be [Berahino's last game]."
Berahino was hugely impressive last term, scoring 20 times in all competitions for West Brom and earning his first call-up to Roy Hodgson's senior England squad for matches against Slovenia and Scotland. The Burundi-born forward has not been included since, however, with Pulis believing that he has effectively wasted several months of his otherwise promising career.
"It's been dreadful to have an outstanding player who has dropped off because of circumstances," he said before the FA Cup tie. "It has not helped us at all.
"If he's still here [after January], he's got to start realising that this is affecting everybody. He's got to get back to what he was. Saido has to realise he is a footballer. In my opinion, he has wasted three or four months and he can't afford to waste any more time."