It seems like an entire generation of English footballers is being written off as degenerate no-hopers and a dearth of talent uncovered which will apparently leave the national side bereft until the U-17 European Championships-winning side comes of age.
One member of that team is Saido Berahino, a striker playing in the youth ranks at West Brom. Berahino came to England in 2003 as a refugee from Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the world and an arena of ongoing civil war. He touched down at Heathrow alone. His mother sent him the airfare having arrived in the UK previously and secured her right to stay. Bewildered home office workers spent days attempting to re-unite the duo.
I daresay that after a few year’s immersion in the culture of big-time football, Berahino will be spit-roasting with the best of them, but for the moment he serves as a useful counterpoint to the excesses of the current crop. An upbringing that represents a startling asymmetry to the cosseted existences of his seniors.
Plus he sounds a bit like he’s from Brazil. Go Saido.