Ben Foster backs Saido Berahino for England call-up

Sunday 02 Nov 2014
Ben Foster has paid tribute to WBA team-mate Saido Berahino
England ‘keeper Ben Foster has backed West Brom team-mate Saido Berahino to be joining him in Roy Hodgson’s England squad sooner rather than later.

The Albion stopper has seen Berahino’s development from close quarters over the last few years, with the 21-year-old currently sitting as the top English goalscorer in the Premier League.

And Berahino’s form at the Hawthorns has seen increasing calls for him to make the switch from Gareth Southgate’s Under-21s squad to Hodgson’s senior set-up, a view which Foster shares.

Saido Berahino celebrates his 85th minute penalty

Berahino has been in red-hot goalscoring form for England Under-21s and West Brom

 

"Without a doubt, Saido should [be named in the England squad this week], he’s the top English scorer in the league," he said.

"He’s got a great shout of being in. We’re quite lucky that Saido is playing week in and week out for us and he’s doing well. 

"Not only does he score goals but he sets goals up like the cross he put in [for West Brom’s winning goal at Leicester] today. 

"His general work rate is fantastic. So whether he’s in this squad or not, he’s one for the future and I think he will be involved at some point hopefully."

Both Hodgson and Southgate will name their respective squads for November's games on Thursday, with a Euro Qualifier against Slovenia and a trip to Scotland for the seniors and a double-header against Portugal and France for the Under-21s.

After seeing Berahino top-score to help fire the Under-21s into next summer's Euro Finals over the current campaign, Foster believes a senior call is close for the former Brentford and Peterborough United loanee.

And he believes Berahino’s hard work and attitude off the pitch in the last year has seen him catch the eye on both the international and domestic front.

Berahino notched his tenth of the season for club and country

Berahino scored his tenth of the season against Manchester United in October

 

"Everyone [in the England camp] spoke about him, the coaches Ray Lewington and Gary Neville asked about him," revealed Foster. 

"I think they keep very close tabs on him anyway but the Saido Berahino from two years ago when he was getting little niggles, injuries and wasn’t fit, he’s completely turned it around. 

"He’s very professional, he’s always in the gym, he watches what he eats, his body fat is super low and he’s always working out on the training ground and it’s nice to see because it’s very rare you get that with someone of that age.

"He’s always one of the first ones in, he will do a lot in the gym now and you can see he’s a man out on that pitch whereas a couple of years ago he was a bit of a boy so it’s good to see."

You could see Berahino in action at Burnley's Turf Moor on Thursday 13 November, as England Under-21s face Portugal in their first preparation game for next summer's Euros.

And Hodgson's side continue their Euro 2016 Qualifiers with a game against Slovenia at Wembley on Saturday 15 November. Click here for tickets.

Tickets for the game at Turf Moor cost just £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. Call 01282 700003 for more details.

Click here to apply for group bookings for 15 people or more (no age restrictions and bookable in advance only): £5 adults and £2.50 concessions.

And Charter Standard clubs clubs can apply for group bookings via the attached form here.

By Nicholas Veevers