Berahino fancies late ticket for Brazil 2014: England U21 striker wants to force his way into Hodgson's squad

By Dominic King

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Saido Berahino has admitted he would gleefully accept the chance to become a World Cup ‘tourist’ if Roy Hodgson offers him a trip to Brazil.

The England manager watched Berahino shine for the Under 21s at Milton Keynes on Thursday, when his two goals against Finland took his tally to six in four games for Gareth Southgate’s side.

There is little doubt Berahino will be involved in a summer tournament, though it is likely to be with the Under 21s in Toulon — an exercise Southgate believes is vital for the development of his players — rather than at the main event in Brazil.

Ambitious: England Under 21 striker Saido Berahino has his eyes on the 2014 World Cup

Ambitious: England Under 21 striker Saido Berahino has his eyes on the 2014 World Cup

But the West Bromwich Albion striker hopes he can do enough to convince Hodgson to include him in his final squad, as he feels the experience of being around England’s top players would be priceless.

‘I have had a taste of the World Cup with the Under 20s and I would love to have that again,’ said Berahino. ‘It’s a great feeling for any player at any level. If the call were to come, it would be a great learning experience for me, even if I was to go there basically as a tourist.

‘Being around the seniors and all the players that have done it before, you would learn a lot just from that.

‘But I am just trying to enjoy my football and help the team. Things are going well.’

Talented: The West Brom striker has had a huge impact at The Hawthorns since the start of the season

Talented: The West Brom striker has had a huge impact at The Hawthorns since the start of the season

Berahino has had a season to remember. Aside from scoring Albion’s winning goal at Old Trafford, he has established himself as the main striker in his age group and has thrived under Southgate’s guidance. Southgate says he is ‘a good player, good person and a pleasure to work with’.

What impresses him most about Berahino, though, is his attitude. There is no sense he is getting carried away as his goals have come against Moldova, Finland and Lithuania and he knows he will need to repeat it against better nations.

‘I still don’t think we’ve been tested yet,’ he said. ‘But we still have to do the job and get the points on board, which we have done.’

On Southgate, he added: ‘He’s great, he gives everybody a chance and it is up to us to take it.

Eyes on the prize: Saido Berahino could sneak into the England World Cup squad by the end of the season

Eyes on the prize: Saido Berahino could sneak into the England World Cup squad by the end of the season

Fan: England Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate speaks highly of the striker

Fan: England Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate speaks highly of the striker

‘He has rotated the squad well and the boys are putting a shift in, regardless of whether we are starting or coming off the bench. It is then up to us to perform.’

Berahino is less settled at club level and contract talks with Albion have stalled.

Discussions had been progressing well, with both parties understood to be confident a deal was close.

Albion have offered to increase Berahino’s weekly pay of just 850 to 7,000, but that has been rejected and the club have yet to improve their offer.

Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton are monitoring developments and Berahino could leave for 300,000 compensation next summer.

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

How much game time would he get at Arsenal, Chelsea or even Everton? Best to stick with the Baggies and then at least he might be seen playing by Mr Hodgson. He's still not certain of a regular start at the Hawthorns.

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the guys a natrual goalscorer. Him going to the world cup should not be overlooked as our current crop of strikers are very weak

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Is he for real. Being part of a World cup squad as a "tourist". All 23 players should be capable of playing at top level. He should go have a chat with Roy Keane who would put him straight on a few things.

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The boys definitely got talent and an eye for goal but not sure he's ready for Brazil next year. If he is to have any chance he'll have to keep his feet on the ground at West Brom and earn a regular starting place first. He's had a great start to the season but he's still developing at WBA. ..... and as for the rubbish about his contract discussions at the end of the piece. Where's 7000pw come from? Saido's currently contracted at WBA until the summer of 2015, FACT. And if he didn't sign an improved deal and did leave next summer, the fact that he signed his first professional contract in 2011 means any fee would be decided by a tribunal. And not compensation as you suggest. But don't let facts get in the way of story, hey.

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Stay put at your club. You still need nurturing under familiar environment. £10k a week should sufficient.

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He is not a regular bin the WBA team

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perhaps if the U-21 squad went to Rio rather than the old guard, we could make a serious challenge in Russia in four years? at the moment I can only see three and out for us anyway

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So you don't think humiliation in Brazil and leaving after three games and zero points would be an issue moving forwards? Great comment....

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Why not

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One week after the Chelsea V WBA game and STILL WBA have not been charged with the SEVEN yellow cards and their keeper has STILL not been charged with violent conduct after kicking Ivanovic off the ball. The yellow livered FA are as inept and inconsistent as the refs they employ. It must be OK for ALL PL clubs to obtain seven yellows now and after letting in a pen your keeper can kick out in frustration hitting an opponent in the stomach and face no charges. Well done the FA. I await with baited breath to see what action you take against a top PL club the next time this happens !

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West Brom will not be charged because 3 of the bookings were for dissent for contesting the penalty decision.. Therefore they would have to look at the circumstances of the bookings which would highlight the fact that the referee made a shocking decision and Chelsea only managed to get a point by one of their players 'falling' into Steve Reid. Can't have a situation where the integrity of Chelsea is called into question can we now?

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I note you forget to discuss the violent conduct charge the WBA keeper should face. Perhaps like the FA we should all just forget that as well. Chelsea rarely get seven booked I hope they do against West Ham just to see what the FA do. Perhaps Cech should kick an opponent in anger next time he concedes after all the FA will do nothing they have now made clear the ground rules

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He looks a good individual player, not been in England long enough to have his talent stifled by the academy system !

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