Tony Pulis has confirmed that Saido Berahino is in contention to feature for West Brom in their next Premier League fixture as the club seek to draw a line under the ugly transfer saga that saw them resist sustained interest from Tottenham. The striker vowed never to play for WBA chairman Jeremy Peace again after being denied a move on transfer deadline day, but looks likely to feature on 12 September as Southampton visit The Hawthorns.
Berahino underlined his significant potential with 20 goals in all competitions last term, with such an impressive record attracting attention Mauricio Pochettino, who seemed very eager to bolster a depleted strikeforce and reduce the mounting pressure on Harry Kane. Despite the 22 year old handing in a transfer request, the switch he so obviously desired never came to fruition after the defiant Baggies rejected four offers for his services, including two on deadline day.
Tottenham's failure to meet West Brom's valuation – which has long stood at £25m ($38.6m) as per the London Evening Standard – coupled with an objection to the structure of payment and the lack of time available to secure an adequate replacement were the main barriers behind to a potential deal, leaving Berahino to vent his considerable frustration on social media. The tweets in which he hinted at a strike have since been deleted, however, and Pulis will now consider him for selection again after leaving him out of the club's last three matches against Chelsea, Port Vale and Stoke.
"I have no problems at all, he could play on Saturday," Pulis said at his latest press conference as relayed by Sky Sports. "The respect Saido should have shown the football club and supporters wasn't there. He has to show them more respect.
"My big issue with Saido is he is immature at times in the way he reacts. Something he has done in the two windows since I've been here, his reaction has not been sensible. For him to want go to another club, to have the ambition to do that, I wish there were more players in my dressing room who had the ambition and quality to want to do that but the problem with it is the way he has gone about it and the way it has been managed. The way it has been managed has been poor. But I'm more concerned with getting Saido back playing football."
Southampton know all too well of the detrimental impacts of the transfer window and also fended off interest from Tottenham in one of their key players before the deadline. Like Berahino, Victor Wanyama appeared keen on a move to White Hart Lane and was left out of the squad to face Norwich last time out after Ronald Koeman deemed him not "mentally and physically good enough to play". The Kenyan midfielder is expected to return for the trip to the Midlands after accepting his fate, while Virgil van Dijk could make his debut following a switch from Celtic. New signings Anders Lindegaard and Jonny Evans could feature for the hosts after leaving Manchester United last month.