Peace: 'Saido can put an unhappy chapter behind him.'
ALBION chairman Jeremy Peace remains resolute over the future of Saido Berahino after welcoming signs of a fresh start by the club’s England striker.
Berahino closed an unsettling chapter in his life on Friday with his appearance at Runcorn Magistrates Court where he pleaded guilty to drink-driving charges and was banned from driving for a year and fined £3,400.
The 21-year-old striker was happy to leave behind all the media attention that has accompanied the case and focus solely once again on his football - and a recent return to top form which has seen him score six goals in three games.
Peace has welcomed the signs of Berahino’s sparkle returning and re-iterated his earlier view that the Academy graduate will not be considered for sale during the January transfer window.
"I think we are all relieved that we can now draw a line under this episode,” said Peace.
"The Club takes seriously the charges to which Saido pleaded guilty and as a result he will be subject to the Club’s disciplinary procedures.
"This unfortunate episode has been unsettling for the club generally and Saido specifically.
"What has been pleasing for everyone around the club has been the clear sign that Saido has responded positively to the arrival of Tony Pulis and a new coaching team and is displaying clear signs of showing that where it matters most – on the pitch.
"Tony has certainly been delighted with him and it is heartening for everyone to see a young man moving forward in the right direction again.
"I said in the autumn that the club had no interest in selling Saido and that remains the case. Unless Tony decides otherwise, the view will surely be that he is far too important to us to consider trading. His goals are capable of keeping us in the Premier League and would be hugely difficult to replace.
"I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify the position and the club’s thinking to our supporters now that Saido can put this unhappy chapter behind him."
Peace added: "Saido has been here from a very young age and he must realise how everyone at West Bromwich Albion has nothing but his best interests at heart.
"We have always looked after him and we are all genuinely pleased to see such encouraging signs that he is back on track."