Sheffield Wednesday made the late decision in the summer transfer window to hand Saido Berahino the chance to make a return to English football following his spell playing in Belgium.
It seemed like a major gamble at the time given that Berahino’s last spell in English football was a thoroughly miserable one after he made a big-money move from West Brom to Stoke City in January 2017.
The forward who was once one of the most highly-rated young prospects in the Premier League managed to score just five goals in 56 appearances for the Potters before leaving for Zulte Waregem in 2019.
There is no doubt that Berahino did manage to somewhat get his career back on track during his time in Belgium and he did manage to register ten goals in 34 appearances during his time with Zulte Waregem. However, there were still plenty of question marks hanging over the 28-year-old and it would not have been expected that he would make a return to England in the summer window.
Darren Moore worked with Berahino in West Brom’s youth academy and the pair obviously formed a good relationship with the Sheffield Wednesday manager having helped to play a key role in his development through to the first-team at the Hawthorns.
Berahino’s quality and potentially was there for all to see in his early days at West Brom and he managed to fire home a number of impressive goals in his first three full seasons at Premier League level with the Baggies.
That is something that Moore would have remembered and he would have thought that he could be the manager to get Berahino to re-find his best form from earlier in his career. It was a gamble that might have been worth taking because had the forward got back to his former levels then he would have been a major force in League One this season for the Owls.
However, the reality is that Berhino’s form has not been good enough for Sheffield Wednesday since he arrived at Hillsborough. The 28-year-old has managed to make just four starts in League One for the Owls and 11 league appearances in total. During that time he has scored just one goal and provided one assist while averaging just 16.5 touches per appearance.
The cup competitions have also been a chance for the forward to show his worth to the Owls, but he has not really done much in those appearances to show that he should be getting more game time in the league.
Sheffield Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat at Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday in their FA Cup first round replay showed that the 28-year-old is performing anywhere near well enough to tempt Moore into offering him more chances. He did not have any real impact on the game for the Owls and was brought off by Moore on 59 minutes with them 2-0 behind.
Clearly then at the moment, Berahino is looking like a transfer gamble that has backfired for Moore and considering all of their injury problems so far this season that is a major frustration for the Owls.
There is time for Berahino to come good of course, but the question will be that if Moore has been unable to get the best out of him then which manager could restore back to his best?
It is a major shame because there is no doubt that he has a lot of natural ability and he could have been a much greater influence than he has been at Hillsborough.