Saido Berahino is close to leaving West Bromwich Albion with Tony Pulis claiming that the striker’s head has been turned by a range of interested clubs.
The West Bromwich Albion manager did not identify those clubs individually, but as well as Tottenham Hotspur, there is a suggestion that Manchester United could be interested in the England Under-21s international. Berahino was not in the match-day squad for his club’s 3-2 defeat to Chelsea at the Hawthorns.
Pulis attacked the timing of the transfer window, asking why it did not close when the season began. He said: “Why are we talking about Saido? Because of the transfer window. It's absolutely ridiculous. For it to be going through the start of the season is ridiculous. We should be talking about this game. This wouldn't be an issue, a problem.
“Saido is a great lad. It happens where it [the window] can be disruptive, and it has been disruptive. I had a good chat with him [on Saturday] and he's fine, no problems, but it's the transfer window. Why can't we have a system where it finishes before the start of the season?”
West Brom 2 Chelsea 3 player ratings
West Brom 2 Chelsea 3 player ratings
1/22 West Brom: Myhill
The goalkeeper conceded three goals, but was let down by his defence. 6
A central defender by trade but playing at right back, he struggled to cope with Hazard’s pace but got involved with West Brom’s attacks when he could. 5
Costa got the better of the Northern Ireland international time and time again, and after the centre-back had lost his battle with the striker, it allowed Costa to set up Azpilicueta for Chelsea’s third. 4
The Sweden international couldn’t deal with the pace of Pedro in the build-up to the winger’s opening goal. 4
The left winger, who has been used at left back under Pulis, came close to equalising with a late shot that went high but he was exploited by Pedro throughout the game. 4
It was his run forwards that allowed Willian to get in behind him and set up Costa for his goal. Was lacking in pace in opener as Willian got past him to make it 2-0. 5
The winger’s pace caused Azpilicueta all sorts of problems and after skipping past the left-back, he was brought down by Matic for the penalty. He also provided the cross for Morrison’s second goal. 7
West Brom’s longest-serving player made up for his missed penalty by scoring twice in what was a positive showing for the midfielder. 8
Worked hard in midfield to combat Fabregas’ influence but failed to fully protect his back line. 5
Was dangerous for West Brom and it was his good work that allowed him to get past Ivanovic and create Morrison’s second goal. 6
Looked sharp on his debut and it was his overhead kick that set up Morrison for his goal. Didn’t get on the scoresheet but was a threat up front for the home side. 7
12/22 Chelsea: Courtois
Remained calm in goal despite the end-to-end nature of the match, saving Morrison's early penalty before making several late saves to ensure the win. 7
Did better on the right flank than against Manchester City last week, but Chelsea’s vice-captain was beaten too easily by McClean for West Brom’s first goal before McManaman got the better of him for the home side’s second. 4
Provided strength in central defence and made some good early tackles. 6
After being the subject of headlines following his substitution against City, the Chelsea skipper let himself down when he saw red for failing to keep up with Rondon before pulling the striker back while he was through on goal. 4
Helped restore Chelsea’s two-goal lead with his strike just before the break, but was beaten too easily by McManaman in the lead-up to West Brom’s penalty as he struggled with his defensive duties. 7
It was the Spaniard’s lofty pass that instigated the move that led to Azpilicueta’s goal, and the midfielder continued providing accurate passes to help build-up Chelsea’s attacks as the game went on. 7
Clumsily brought down McManaman to give away the penalty but was let off the hook when Courtois saved the resulting spot-kick. He didn’t look as strong in midfield as usual, and couldn’t contend with Morrison’s strength for West Brom’s second goal. 5
Made a great run on the counter to set up Chelsea’s second goal and should have scored just before the break but drove high. Another good performance with a high work rate against West Brom. 7
The Belgian looked back to his best against West Brom as he set up Pedro for the opener and used his pace to cause the home side’s defence problems. 7
Chelsea’s man of the match. The winger seemed at ease on his Premier League debut scoring a goal and setting up Diego Costa’s strike. His pace on the right and his superb crosses will prove dangerous for Chelsea this season. 8
His goal was the icing on the cake for the striker, who enjoyed a very good performance up front. Costa looked dangerous throughout and really should have bagged a brace in the second half but drove high with time and space. 8
He added: “He's a young lad who needs to be protected. There's loads of stuff going on in his mind and there are loads of clubs, not one but 15, saying things and doing things.”
West Brom want £s25m for the player and have rejected Spurs’ interest in him so far. The club are prepared to take that interest further in spite of the statement from West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace last week which announced that the player was not for sale, while conceding that they could never say “never”.
Jose Mourinho said that appealing John Terry’s red card would be “waste of time” based on recent experience. The Chelsea captain was sent off for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity to Salomon Rondon, a decision that Tony Pulis described as “harsh”.
“Normally, it [appeals] are a waste of time for us,” Mourinho said. “I think we should [appeal], but normally it's a waste of time. [Nemanja] Matic against Burnley last year, Diego Costa against Liverpool, [Thibaut] Courtois [for his red card against Swansea] ... it's a waste of time.”
He said he was not concerned by three red cards in the last five games for his team, stretching back to last season and Cesc Fabregas’ dismissal against West Brom. “I have to do what's in my hands, which is to train,” he said. “We have to train 11 against 10. We have to do it. We did it a couple of times in Canada [on pre-season], and we have to do more. Ten men when you are winning. Ten men when you are losing. Ten men chasing a result. Ten men defending a result.
“The difference between [the West Brom game] and Swansea was exactly that. Against Swansea we had ten and wanted to change the result. [Against West Brom] we wanted to keep the result. It's something we want to do in training.”
He praised the performance of Pedro Rodriguez who scored the first goal and made the second for Diego Costa. “There is always a question mark because how many top players come to England and don't perform immediately? Then people wonder if he's the right player: can he adapt, was he a good or bad buy? There are examples in our club, and in lots of clubs. So very nice for him to come and perform straight away as he did. I did expect it. He had a good pre-season.”
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