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 Posted by PA Sport
Oct 4, 2013

Steve Clarke criticises advisors

West Brom head coach Steve Clarke has criticised Saido Berahino's "naughty" advisors after details of the young forward's salary were leaked following his match-winning performance against Manchester United last weekend.

It was claimed that the 20-year-old, who is currently negotiating a new deal at the Hawthorns, is earning just £850-a-week having recently broken into the first team.

Clarke has accused Berahino's agent, or agents, of leaking the figure deliberately in an attempt to stir up interest in the England Under-21 international.

"Seeing what came out in the press after the game last week, obviously his agent has been a little bit busy by putting things out in the open," said Clarke. "I understand that it's an agent's job and that's what he has to do, but now is the time for everyone to be calm and focus on improving Saido as a player.

"It was a little bit naughty for the agent to put out the level of his wages and what he earns [into the public domain]. It's not correct. But if Saido continues to do what he's doing, he'll be looked after here. No problem."

The Scot insists Berahino -- whose current deal expires next summer with the club having a one-year option -- remains grounded.

"Saido's been good, level-headed in training and he's in a good place," he said. "He's had a good five or six weeks of first-team action if you take into account his performances for the England Under-21s.

"There's always someone who bursts onto the scene every season and we're fortunate that it is Saido. He was terrific last week and deserves all the plaudits he gets. Our job is to keep his feet on the ground.

"Whichever club you're at if you have one of the academy lads who comes through and has the ability and hunger. Saido has been electric and forced his way into the team. We have a number of forward players but Saido is in my thoughts to start.

"Saido has a chance to start. You have to look at every game on its merits but no-one can quibble if he starts. He's not a gamble for me, his performance in training and starts are right up there."

Berahino may indeed make his Barclays Premier League starting debut against Arsenal this weekend as Clarke could be without strikers Victor Anichebe (groin), Shane Long (knee) and Nicolas Anelka (foot).

Midfielders James Morrison and Chris Brunt should also be available but Scott Sinclair (hamstring) is absent while Matej Vydra, Ben Foster, George Thorne and Zoltan Gera are all working their way back to full fitness.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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