Saido Berahino believes World Cup experience aided his Premier League introduction
Saido Berahino believes his experiences with England have helped him cope with the limelight of the Premier League.
The West Bromwich Albion striker has been a welcome addition to Steve Clarke’s squad this season and scored their winning goal against Manchester United on Saturday.
And the 20-year-old revealed that he hasn’t been daunted by the prospect of playing at venues such as Old Trafford – after all, he led the line for England U20s against Argentina in front of 45,000 at the age of 18 in the 2011 World Cup.
"I wasn't fazed by it," admitted Berahino, after Albion’s first win at Old Trafford for 35 years.
"I have had a bit of experience playing on the big stage because I played at the U20s World Cup for England.
"I had been to Old Trafford before, for a reserve game, although I didn't play, so I was desperate to get on.
"It is a great stadium. If you don't want to play here you might as well not be a footballer."
Berahino will be hoping he is named in the England Under-21s squad later this week, ahead of October's qualifiers against San Marino and Lithuania.
He has already proved to be an important part of Gareth Southgate’s group after scoring the winner against Moldova and an equaliser against Finland earlier this month.
And his form with West Brom has been equally impressive, scoring a League Cup hat-trick earlier in the season and a goal against Arsenal in the same competition last week as well as regular appearances in the Premier League.
"I can't believe how the last month has gone,” he added.
"But the gaffer believed in me. I don't want the journey to end now, I just want to carry on for many years to come."
You can buy tickets for England Under-21s’ game with Lithuania at Ipswich Town’s Portman Road by calling 0871 964 2116 or clicking here.