Cardiff City should go all out to sign Saido Berahino next summer
Stoke have grown exasperated with the 25-year-old’s poor disciplinary track record since his £12 million move from West Brom back in January 2017 and the Potters are keen to look for potential suitors once the transfer window re-opens next summer, reports the Daily Mail.
Things have gone downhill for Berahino since he left his boyhood club, with poor form on the pitch coupled with disciplinary issues off the field making him an absolute disaster of a signing for the Potters. Berahino has struggled to hit the ground running at Stoke ever since he earned that big-money move, registering 5 goals from 56 appearances for the Potters across all competitions.
And it has once again been the same old story for the promising young striker this season. The 25-year-old has netted only thrice from 23 appearances in the Championship following a disappointing season in the Premier League last term which saw Stoke face the drop.
Born in Burundi, Berahino rose through the youth ranks at West Brom and made a massive impression in the Premier League in just his second full season. The 25-year-old caught the eyes of several big clubs with his heroics in the 2014-15 season in the Premier League where he scored 14 goals from 38 appearances. He finished his West Brom career with 36 goals and 8 assists from 121 appearances across all competitions, returns which are really good given that he broke into the first-team at a tender age.
However, he hasn’t lived up to his price tag at Stoke, scoring only five goals from 56 appearances over the course of two years. A player of his calibre is certainly capable of delivering much more and a move away from his current club should help him resurrect his faltering career.
To put things into perspective, Premier League strugglers Cardiff City should make a move for him next summer, with the Bluebirds in dire need of a quality striker following the tragic death of January signing Emiliano Sala.
Berahino is not the tallest of strikers but he is certainly very strong and powerful for a player of his stature, with his superior upper body strength allowing him to hold on to the ball for long enough. Well, that is certainly not his greatest asset.
A fast and agile striker blessed with quick feet, silky dribbling skills and subtle movement, the 25-year-old’s greatest asset is his pace and ability to run behind defences, particularly against opposition that play in a high defensive line.
He likes to take on the defenders with his sudden burst of pace and acceleration and his clever movement off the ball allows him to get into scoring positions inside the box. Furthermore, he has the ability to operate on the wings and also as a No.10 behind the striker.
To put things into perspective, he would be a welcome addition to Cardiff’s squad in the summer. Neil Warnock signed Oumar Niasse on loan till the end of the season but the Bluebirds need a permanent solution to their attacking woes.
It is a pity that a Premier League side have been forced to use someone like Callum Paterson as a makeshift forward, which further epitomises the need for a specialist No.9. To add to that, Cardiff can certainly do with a little bit more quality in the attacking third, with the likes of Kadeem Harris, Junior Hoilett and Kenneth Zohore not doing enough this season.
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And Berahino, with his ability to create space and finish off the moves, can certainly take Cardiff to greater heights. The Bluebirds have done really well to stay in the race for avoiding relegation heading into the crunch end of the season, and irrespective of what the future holds for them in the top flight, they should go all out to sign Saido Berahino next summer.
Transfer blunder waiting to happen? Here is why Cardiff City should steer clear of a £7m deal to sign this 22-year-old attacker
Cardiff City Opinion: Why Cardiff would commit a blunder by signing Luis Diaz
The AS reports that Diaz’s agent Carlos van Strahalen has confirmed Cardiff’s interest in the promising 22-year-old Colombian international.
Diaz has been a revelation since breaking into Atletico’s first team in 2017 and has caught the eye with his impressive performances, accumulating 17 goals and 6 assists from 57 appearances for the club.
He has been in decent touch this season as well, scoring twice and setting up another two from 8 appearances in the Liga Aguila.
Meanwhile, Cardiff did a world of good to their chances of avoiding relegation in the Premier League with a well-earned 2-0 victory over West Ham last week.
The Bluebirds have fought hard, having shown plenty of resilience in the top flight under the stewardship of Neil Warnock and they are still very much in with a chance of beating the drop.
The Wales-based club currently
The absence of a prolific centre-forward has been one of Cardiff’s major problems this season, whilst a lack of creativity has also hit them hard at times.
The tragic death of club-record signing Emiliano Sala in January was a massive blow to Cardiff’s chances of surviving in the Premier League and Neil Warnock has been forced to rely on the misfiring Oumar Niasse who was signed on loan from Everton.
Junior Hoilett, who was supposed to be one of the mainstays of Cardiff’s attack, has lit up the scene with moments of individual brilliance but he has lacked the levels of consistency that was expected of him. The other attackers like Bobby Reid, Kadeem Harris, Danny Ward and Kenneth Zohore hasn’t delivered the goods consistently either.
To put things into perspective, Cardiff are in dire need of reshaping their squad next summer irrespective of what the future holds for them in the Premier League.
The Bluebirds have a good blend of youth and experience in their ranks but they need to bring in a few fresh faces faces to bolster their attack. And Luis Diaz might not be the best possible option for that purpose.
Granted, the 22-year-old has shown signs of promise and has already been capped once at the senior level by Colombia but Cardiff need to rethink their stance given that he is still an unproven talent at the highest level.
The fact that many young players from the South American leagues have failed to make an impact in the Premier League over the years should make Cardiff all the more apprehensive.
Considering the current scenario in the transfer window, Cardiff aren’t the richest of clubs in England and shelling out such an amount to sign a rookie might not be the best idea.
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If Cardiff are genuinely interested in the player, they should continue to keep tabs on his progress for at least another season or negotiate a loan deal to try him out on a temporary basis.
Robert Snodgrass to continue on the right-wing? – Predicted 4-2-3-1 West Ham XI to face Cardiff City
Predicted West Ham line-up to face Cardiff City in the Premier League
West Ham will look to improve their away form when they travel to south Wales to face Cardiff City in a Premier League game on Saturday.
The Hammers defeated Newcastle United 2-0 at home last weekend and will be confident of getting a positive result against a relegation-threatened Cardiff side.
Cardiff City are currently two points adrift of Southampton in 17th but a win against West Ham on Saturday could see them leapfrog the Saints.
Aaron Cresswell and Fabian Balbuena have been passed fit to face the Bluebirds.
Winston Reid, Carlos Sanchez, Jack Wilshere and Andriy Yarmolenko are long-term absentees.
Probable West Ham XI
Manager: Manuel Pellegrini
Lukasz Fabianski (GK)
Fabianski has been one of the top performing players for the Hammers and he will be keen to keep a clean sheet against Cardiff.
Ryan Fredericks (RB)
Fredericks has done very well in the last two games and deserves to keep his place at right-back.
Issa Diop (CB)
The Frenchman has been a regular under Pellegrini, keeping things tight at the back. He will retain his place in the team.
Angelo Ogbonna (CB)
Ogbonna has featured regularly since the injury to Balbuena. Despite Balbuena attaining full fitness, Pellegrini will go with Ogbonna in central defence.
Aaron Cresswell (LB)
Cresswell has recovered from niggle picked up last weekend and is raring to make a mark against Cardiff.
Declan Rice (CM)
Rice has been one of West Ham’s best players this season. The youngster has become an indispensable figure for Pellegrini’s side.
Mark Noble (CM)
Noble is going strong and putting in solid shifts. Under Pellegrini, he remains a key member of the squad.
Robert Snodgrass (RW)
A tireless worker, Snodgrass likes to pick up important spaces and create chances for his teammates.
Manuel Lanzini (CAM)
Lanzini is tailor-made for the no.10 role at West Ham. The clever Argentine possesses a lot of qualities with which he can rip apart Cardiff to shreds single-handedly.
Felipe Anderson (LW)
Anderson is a classy operator of the ball and plays with a lot of speed, flair and intensity. The Brazilian can be a threat all day long for the hosts.
Marko Arnautovic (ST)
This game could see Arnautovic lead the attack for the Hammers. With his pace and power, he can be a real handful for the Cardiff defenders.
5 goals and 4 assists – Why Sheffield United should beat Cardiff City to sign this talented 25-year-old in the summer
Why Sheffield United should beat Cardiff City to sign Will Vaulks
According to the Daily Mail, Rotherham United midfielder Will Vaulks has attracted interest from Sheffield United and Premier League outfit Cardiff City, with a Serie A club also keen on the 25-year-old central midfielder.
The same report adds that Will Vaulks will have only one year left on his current contract after the end of the ongoing campaign and he is ready for a new challenge.
The 25-year-old has been one of the most consistent performers for Rotherham United over the last two seasons. He helped the club secure promotion to the second-tier from League One last season with his impressive performances, earning the award for the player of the season in the process.
He has also done equally well in the Championship this term for a club that find themselves in a relegation dogfight at the bottom of the table, registering 5 goals and 4 assists from 30 appearances.
Will Vaulks is a tactically versatile midfielder who is comfortable in central and defensive roles in the middle of the park, while he has also been used as a makeshift centre-back at times.
Comfortable in possession and strong on the tackle, the 25-year-old not only has the ability to dictate the tempo of the game with his range of passing but he is equally adept at cutting out the attacks with crucial tackles and interceptions. To add to that, he is also very strong in the air and he does not hesitate to put his foot through the ball from outside the box.
The midfielder averages 2.4 tackles, 1.8 interceptions, 2.7 clearances, 1.3 key passes, 4.4 aerial duels and 4.2 long balls per game in the Championship this season, figures which speak volumes of his well-rounded abilities.
To put things into perspective, Vaulks would be a welcome addition for Sheffield United in the summer. The Blades have enjoyed a successful season in the Championship under Chris Wilder and they currently sit 3rd in the standings, just three points adrift of second-placed Leeds United.
Someone like Vaulks has shown enough promise for a struggling side and he certainly has all that it takes to make an impact at a bigger club. The Blades have struck gold with the signing of Oliver Norwood in a permanent deal in the January transfer window but they should not hesitate to bolster their central midfield options even more by snapping up Vaulks.
John Fleck and Norwood have formed a stable partnership for Sheffield United at the base of the midfield this term but the Blades can certainly do with more quality in their ranks, with Paul Coutts on the other side of 30 and Ryan Leonard deemed surplus to requirements.
That said, Sheffield should follow up their interest next summer and table a bid to land the 25-year-old.
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