Saido Berahino is killing it for West Bromwich Albion and the England Under-21s, so he's inevitably being linked to clubs bigger than his current one. Today's link comes via The Sun, who say that Tottenham Hotspur are pursuing the forward, who is valued at £15m.
We have some thoughts. Here are 5 of them.
1. Saido Berahino is awesome
At just 21, Berahino is looking like a pretty complete and polished forward. He struggled a bit with his finishing last season, but has improved significantly in that area this season. His six goals in nine games don't feel like an anomaly, a lucky run, or the product of a great game against bad competition. He's been consistently fantastic this year.
His versatility is probably something that attracts Mauricio Pochettino to the idea of signing him. He can play up top or on the left wing. He's a very good dribbler, he can play with his back to goal, he's really fast, his combination play is impressive and he scores some different kinds of goals. His only real attacking weakness is that he's a poor header of the ball.
2. This rumor probably came from his U-21 partnership with Harry Kane
So perhaps the Sun has some legitimate information and we'll see Spurs make a bid on Berahino because they've been planning a bid on Berahino. But even if they don't, this would be an easy rumor to make up because of Berahino's partnership with Harry Kane at the U-21 level. They work excellently together and the English media would start wanking over us instead of Liverpool if we started the pair of them.
3. He might be a better Jay Rodriguez than Jay Rodriguez
Here's your regular reminder that Jay Rodriguez has had one excellent season in the Premier League. In his previous pretty good season, he had one more goal in 35 games than Berahino has right now in seven. At Berahino's age, Jay Rodriguez was a below average Championship player, who slowly blossomed into a great Championship player over the next two years. Berahino's ceiling is infinitely higher than Rodriguez's and his immediate production should be similar, especially given Rodriguez's knee injury.
4. But he doesn't play defense
There's one huge drawback here. A left flank of Saido Berahino and Danny Rose is a disaster waiting to happen. Yes, Rose has improved significantly and looks like a solid starting Premier League right back, but he's still not good enough to make up for Berahino's complete lack of defensive ability. He would need to improve that part of his game to become a regular starter for Spurs in what we've dubbed the Jay Rod Role.
5. Ultimately, a pretty good idea when you get over the sticker shock
Chances are, you saw this and your reaction was something along the lines of "£15m for Saido Berahino? sdjfhsjkafshdjfhskdfj!" And we understand. But you know what? This is just what players cost these days. It's less than what Roma paid for Juan Iturbe after an eight-goal Serie A season, and about what Juventus paid for Alvaro Morata after an eight-goal La Liga season. PSV were going to want more than this for Memphis Depay. There's always good value to be found out there, but if West Brom are asking £15m, that's not crazy.
On current form, Berahino looks like he's worth this much money. He was ridiculously unlucky last season and could have scored three times as many goals as he did quite easily. He's doing a lot with minimal service at WBA. This is a really good player, likely to score 10-plus league goals a season for a team bigger than WBA in the very near future.