England Watch: Youth Edition

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Saido Berahino (right), has already looked to have build on his promise shown last season for West Brom


No, this is not me jumping on the bandwagon and claiming that young Berahino is the next best young English talent; but you cannot deny that his progression from the second half of last season till now is quite impressive.  Considering the many question marks on what attacking players England should call on in the coming years, surely he deserves to be put in the pipeline.

At the back end of last campaign, you could see Berahino’s hunger to succeed and his willingness to get forward and make things happen for the Baggies.  This season, he kicked off his personal campaign with the only brace of the first weekend; a cool finish from the spot, and a well taken goal from a tight angle at close range for his side’s second (though Seb Larsson would ruin what would have been his match winner).

He has pace, he’s direct, he works hard and his movement off the ball is only bested by his growth as a finisher – all attributes that England need and have lacked.  As many young players in the country develop a bit of continental about them, Hodgson must tap into that new look type of player if England are to be successful moving forward; players like Berahino are the sort needed.  But let’s see what Ben Clarke has to add to it;

"“It’s no secret that the national team is slightly biased towards those on top of the Premier League totem pole (in regards to player selection.)  The main argument for this is the fact that top sides attract the best the country has to offer, and feature in European competitions against the best on the continent.  Fair enough.   Yet this season, Roy Hodgson has been given a golden opportunity to promote a young player from one of the lesser sides in the league, a player with as much potential as any – Saido Berahino. Berahino isn’t as talented as Rooney or Sturridge, but given record of England’s front men as of late (when it matters, especially this summer), it cannot do any harm to employ a pacy young attacking player with bags of potential, and see where it goes.  Worst case scenario, he scores as many as Rooney did in Brazil.  Best case scenario, Berahino proves his potential and becomes another attacking threat to add to the growing list. I’m not going to pretend that Berahino is a finished product at all, but neither was Raheem Sterling or Sturridge when they first broke into the England set up.  Berahino was West Brom’s top goalscorer in a season where they failed to create many chances, and were constantly under pressure.   To give him a shot in a friendly to see if he can re-create his early season form would not be the worst idea in the world – pacy ever present, and able to put in a goal or to.  I dare you to Roy Hodgson, after all, it’s as great an opportunity as any as you’ll get anytime soon.”"