Club News

Irvine backs Berahino for future England call

Berahino has eight England U21 goals in 11 outings

ALAN Irvine believes Albion striker Saido Berahino will earn a full England call-up provided he maintains his development and progress.

The 21-year-old already has five club goals to his name this season, including two in last weekend’s 4-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Burnley.

Berahino has been included in Gareth Southgate’s England Under-21 squad for their crucial forthcoming UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off games against Croatia.

And Irvine believes Berahino, who is just five goals behind Alan Shearer and Francis Jeffers in the all-time scoring charts for the Three Lions' Under-21 side, can eventually make the step up to the senior England squad.

The Albion head coach said: “Saido is a young player who is doing extremely well at the moment and has great potential. 

“I would hope that one day he will become a full international but I didn’t expect Roy Hodgson to pick him at this stage. Roy knows him well and I’m sure he will pick him at the time when he thinks he’s ready.

“We’re delighted with how Saido is doing. And we’re delighted he’s being talked about in that way, but Roy will know when the time is right to pick him.

“He needs to continue to develop, continue to improve and if he does then he will make that full debut. Saido is in a really good place at the moment and he will deal with that, knuckle down and work in the way he’s working and develop further.

“It’s in our interest that he keeps playing as well he is and continues to develop. We want him to continue scoring goals.”