Liverpool Transfer News: Saido Berahino Not the Solution to Reds Issues

Christopher AtkinsContributor IOctober 26, 2014

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25:  Saido Berahino of West Bromwich Albion scores their secon goal from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace at The Hawthorns on October 25, 2014 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

It is perhaps unsurprising given his recent hot form that West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino is being linked to some of the best clubs in England. He is a fine striker with what should be an excellent future ahead of him, but it is suggested that he will now cost a huge £25 million.

Among those linked with his services are Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool, a club who have paid close attention to rising English talents over recent years. However, they face competition from London in the shape of Tottenham Hotspur.

The Daily Mail's Rob Shepherd reports:

Liverpool will consider a January move for West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino.

The England Under 21 international starlet has been targeted by Tottenham Hotspur and there has been a £15million offer mooted by the north London club.

That falls ways short of the price which would persuade West Brom to sell.

Berahino has been exceptional for West Brom this season, topping the scoring charts among English players with seven goals in his nine appearances thus far in the campaign. While he showed signs of such ability last campaign, few expected him to hit such heights over recent months.

For Liverpool, though, a move for Berahino at this point would be an enormous gamble. For the Reds to spend £25 million on a player, he must be ready to make an immediate first-team impact. Given Berahino's relative inexperience, that is far from a certainty.

Summer signing Mario Balotelli is yet to excel in Daniel Sturridge's absence, but it would be a mistake to write off the Italian at this stage in his Liverpool career. While he has never consistently produced top-class performances at any club, the former Manchester City player is an incredible talent if the club can unlock his potential.

Signing a striker would not be a surprise, but the Reds need a player ready to slot straight in for the remainder of the campaign should they act in January. They need experience, although some would argue they already possess plentiful options given Ricky Lambert's presence at the club, albeit that he is also yet to fully settle at Anfield.

Beyond that, there is a further complication to any pursuit of Berahino in that Liverpool have already bought a very similar talent in Lille's Divock Origi. The striker will arrive at the club on a permanent basis following the completion of his loan back to the French club this summer.

There are only so many places available in the first team and Liverpool have plenty of players for those positions. While Balotelli and Lambert may not have settled yet, it would be a major surprise to see either player discarded so quickly.

It is not so much that signing the West Brom player would be a mistake, with his age and talent an attractive proposition for any club. The question is more whether Liverpool would be better served using such money on other areas of their squad given recent defensive hiccups.

Balotelli has disappointed thus far at Liverpool
Balotelli has disappointed thus far at LiverpoolAlex Livesey/Getty Images

Origi will arrive next summer, at which point the Reds will also be much better placed to judge the potential respective futures of their other striking options at the club. They need to start scoring more goals, but more must be done in midfield to provide better service to those in the penalty area.

Replacing Luis Suarez's goals contribution was always going to be a difficult task, with a like-for-like replacement nigh on impossible to find. Berahino will continue to be at the centre of speculation if he keeps finding the back of the net over the course of the weeks ahead. Liverpool, though, would appear an unlikely destination.