Saido Berahino will face disciplinary action for his attack on Jeremy Peace via Twitter – but West Bromwich Albion are resolved to get last season's leading scorer back on the pitch as soon as possible.
Along with the rest of the Albion squad who are not away on international duty, Berahino has been given several days off before returning to training on Monday, and the feeling within the club is that the timing could not be better. Berahino’s frustration at missing out on a move to Tottenham Hotspur manifested itself in an extraordinary outburst on deadline day when he tweeted that he would never play for Peace, the Albion chairman, again.
While those remarks went down particularly badly at Albion and Berahino will be fined for breaching their social media rules, the last thing the club want to do is inflame an already volatile situation.
Berahino needs to know that he overstepped the mark and that his conduct was unacceptable – but Albion also need him playing.
Albion remain deeply upset with the way that Spurs handled their pursuit of Berahino, in particular the timing of their offers and the way that the proposed deals were structured.
After two previous failed bids Spurs returned with another two offers on deadline day in a desperate attempt to force Albion’s hand.
The final bid was £22.5 million (€30.6 million), spread over five years and with an initial down-payment of £6.5 million (€8.8 million). There were also a number of performance-related targets that had to be met for the final sum to be realised. Albion felt that the deal was unreasonable and undervalued Berahino. Whether Spurs return for the forward in January remains to be seen.
Berahino was omitted from their three previous matches, against Chelsea, Port Vale and Stoke, because Tony Pulis, the head coach, deemed the player to be in the wrong frame of mind to concentrate on soccer. Pulis now has the challenging task of talking him round.