Everton are on the hunt for a centre-forward this summer and could have the chance to sign a player that has been on their radar for four years – Saido Berahino. The Toffees made a move for the 25-year-old in 2013, 2015 & 2017, and now have a chance to procure his signature for free.
The 25-year-old was recently sacked by Stoke City following a drink-driving charge and finds his career at an all-time low. It would be a major gamble for Marco Silva to bring the bad-boy to Goodison Park, but there are ways Everton can manage Berahino without their wasting time and money like Stoke.
The Burundi international could be signed on a pay-as-you-play deal, so he would be incentivised to train hard to push for first-team football. Whether Berahino would opt for such a contract remains to be seen, however, as other clubs might match his £80k-per-week salary without him needing to play each week.
Another tactic Everton could use to keep Berahino on the straight and narrow is tapping into his relationships with former teammates. The centre-forward has played with Luke Garbutt and Michael Keane for England u21s, Brendan Galloway for West Brom and Ashley Williams for Stoke so he’ll have people who can help him settle in quickly.
Everton don’t need to gamble on Berahino. He’s been banished for being late to an u23s match, been banned for taking ecstasy and been banned for drink-driving. The 25-year-old has a lot of ability, however, which is going to waste due to his indiscipline.
Berahino once scored 14 goals in 38 Premier League games in 2014/15, but he’s netted only seven league goals since.