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Rumour Mongering: Liverpool Track Berahino

Rumour mongers have Liverpool tracking West Brom's Saido Berahino, but scratch below the surface and it looks little more than a player angling for a new deal.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Liverpool need goals. Liverpool have, in recent years at least, shifted their focus to buying young, homegrown talent as much as possible. Put two and two together and you get 21-year-old West Brom striker Saido Berahino, fresh off his first England call-up and now linked to Liverpool and Manchester United.

After spending two years out on loan with Northampton, Brentford, and Peterborough, Berahino stuck with the first team at West Brom last season. Largely used as a substitute, he scored nine goals in 35 appearances across all competitions. This season, he's scored eight times so far—but half have come from the penalty spot.

The goal totals may be there, but take away penalties and his four open play goals—three in the league and one in the League Cup—are less impressive, though it's a tally that would still comfortably make him Liverpool's top scoring striker. Those goals have also come at a conversion rate of just over 14%, bordering on poor for a striker.

At 21 years of age, though, the tools are there and improvement may be possible. But his goal tally is clearly inflated, and along with his status as a homegrown player it would mean an inflated price. And it may not particularly matter in the end, as Berahino, whose current deal runs through 2017, is reportedly angling for a new contract.

Berahino fits the template for Liverpool under FSG, but given the inflated nature of his goal tally, he wouldn't be the answer for their current struggles and Liverpool already have a more highly regarded young striker coming in Divock Origi. Put that together with Berahino angling for a new deal, and it seems safe to dismiss this rumour.

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