Saido Berahino continues to be affected by Tottenham Hotspur's failed attempts to sign him during the summer transfer window, according to West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis. The Baggies rejected four bids for Berahino from the north London club, but since being reintegrated into the first team the 22-year-old has scored just three goals in eight appearances.
Berahino was clearly affected by the overtures from Spurs during the twilight of the mercato, having a transfer request rejected by The Hawthorns club before he declared his intention to never play for the club again under chairman Jeremy Peace. The former England Under-21 international has returned to the fold since the saga but has failed to recapture the form that saw him net 20 goals in all competitions last term.
Speaking ahead of the win over Norwich City, which saw Berahino fail to find the net for a fifth time this term, Pulis admitted that the uncertainty over his future amid Tottenham's interest saw the player put on weight, which is affecting his form. Berahino missed three of West Brom's first five matches of the season and was given a week off by the club during the international break, and Pulis believes there is a legacy from that absence.
"He's done well but he's still not as fit as he was last year," said Pulis, according to the Express and Star. "He's carrying a little bit of weight and we have to work hard to get that off him.
"I think it was down to the fact that he wasn't playing and was in limbo [due to Tottenham's interest] for quite a few weeks, but he's got his head down in the last couple of weeks and we've got him back on board. Now it's important that we get him back to the levels he was at last year, because he was a very important player for us."
Tottenham's failure to sign Berahino hinged on the specifics of their offer to West Brom during the final hours of the window, a proposal which was deemed "unacceptable" according to director of football administration Richard Garlick. The Daily Telegraph understood that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy submitted a deal that included several staggered payments, with just £3m ($4.6m) being paid up front, a bid which was quickly rebuffed.