The Saido Berahino to Tottenham transfer saga from 2015 is one that most Spurs fans will be well aware of. After weeks of heavy speculation linking the then West Brom forward with a move to White Hart Lane, the transfer fell through in the final days of the window.
The England Under-21 international, who seemed destined to reach the top of the game, never quite managed to replicate the same form after his move to North London collapsed.
Following a disappointing three years at Stoke, Berahino has had to rebuild his career in the Belgian top flight.
The 27-year-old previously admitted that he was heartbroken at not being able to join Spurs at the time as he felt that the club under Mauricio Pochettino would have been an ideal place to continue his development (Counter Attack Podcast).
The forward, who is currently on loan at Belgian top-flight side Charleroi, has now admitted that he lost focus after 2015 and also opened up on his mental health struggles in the subsequent years.
“It’s when West Brom refused to let me go to Spurs that the problems started for me. It was difficult for my family members to advise me because they hadn’t been in that situation.
“I wasn’t mature enough and didn’t have the people with experience around me to give me good advice. I lost my focus and it sent me into a depression.”
“When the head doesn’t follow, no footballer can perform on the pitch. People think it’s easy to be a footballer because we earn a lot of money, but they forget we’re human beings.
“They forget the mental side is the most important in football, in any sport, but also in life.
“If things aren’t well in your head, you won’t be able to do anything on the pitch. Many young players earn a lot of money very quickly but don’t find the right balance afterwards.
“I did it thanks to experience learned and my mum who was always there for me. I also had a daughter and a son who completely changed me. I suffered, but I still managed to become a professional footballer.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Fans often underestimate how important the psychological aspect of the game is, especially at the top level. All footballers who make it to the Premier League are talented athletes who are also technically gifted. More often than not, the difference between those who perform consistently for years and years and those who have ups and downs is their mental strength. Berahino’s fall from grace demonstrates that perfectly.
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