Mark Hughes says new boy Saido Berahino can get "back on track" at Stoke City

Mark Hughes says new boy Saido Berahino can get "back on track" at Stoke City

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes believes £12 million January signing Saido Berahino is at the right club to get "back on track" after a tumultuous 18 months at West Bromwich Albion after sealing his move to the Potters on Friday.

charlie-malam
Charlie Malam

Mark Hughes says that Stoke City are "delighted" to sign Saido Berahino and believe the striker is at a place where he can get "back on track."

The Potters officially sealed the England youth international's signature after an overdrawn saga on Friday night, the 23-year-old joining for an initial £12 million fee that could rise to £15 million through player and club-based clauses.

Berahino had not played for previous club West Bromwich Albion since September, his relationship with the club having broken down after looking to leave the West Midlands outfit on a number of occasions since the 2014-15 campaign.

Indeed, Stoke themselves saw a bid worth £17 million rising to a potential £20 million for Berahino rejected only last July.

But with the frontman's contract running out this summer, West Brom were resigned to settling for a smaller fee after Berahino turned down the chance to sign a new contract at the Hawthorns for the third time.

Berahino - who signed a five-and-a-half year contract in the Potteries and will wear the No.9 shirt - was officially introduced to Stoke supporters on Saturday before his new teammates went on to draw 1-1 draw against Manchester United 

Berahino gives team an extra attacking dimension, feels Stoke boss

Speaking after that draw, in which Stoke led 1-0 until Wayne Rooney's record-breaking free-kick in the 94th minute, Hughes declared: "We're delighted with that [signing Berahino]. 

"We feel coming here, we're going to gain a player that has got real determination and the platform that we'll give him will allow him to get back on track.

"He's obviously stalled in his career for 18 months or so and that determination and desire to get back on track, we'll benefit from. Clearly he's an outstanding player.

"He's not where he needs to be in terms of his fitness but we can change that round very, very quickly.

"He gives us something that we haven't really had for quite some time at this club, someone who can play off the shoulder, and if he gets chances more often than not he will take them.

"So we're very pleased with the business we've done. He's young, he's English - usually you have to pay a premium for those types of players - but we think we'll get him back on track and he'll be a very good player for us for a long time."

Hughes hopeful Berahino can progress "very, very quickly" once bedded in

The Potters boss was asked how long he believes it will be before Berahino can make a significant impact at the Bet365 Stadium, adding that he can make rapid progress once he settles.

He continued: "We'll see how we go. He's not going to be starting games any time soon, but certainly he can have an impact.

"He's played games in the last month or so for the Under-23s. Obviously that's not Premier League level but he's had about four 90 minutes in the last month, so he's not unfit though he's not match fit clearly.

"Once he gets back into a senior group and he's integrated and there's a little bit of understanding what we're about, then he's going to progress very, very quickly on all levels. We're very pleased."

But the Welshman refused to reveal whether any more business would be forthcoming in the current January transfer window, insisting: "We'll have to wait and see. I haven't had an update."

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