Mark Hughes has admitted the £12million striker Saido Berahino does not fit into Stoke’s system.
The former West Brom striker arrived in the summer on a fee which could rise to £15million on a five-year deal in somewhat of a risky move considering his record at The Hawthorns.
And less than five months into his time at The Britannia Stadium, Hughes has suggested that the gamble has backfired and admitted the 24-year-old had not impressed enough in his fisrt-team chances.
“It’s important to remain patient. I’ve mentioned the run of games we have ahead of us,” Hughes said at today’s news conference.
“It tests every squad and every player has to be ready to make an impact. For the majority of the season we’ve played with a formation that probably hasn’t helped Saido, it isn’t quite the best formation and structure to allow Saido to perform at the level he’s capable.
“But along with that he’s needed to make of opportunities and it’s fair to say he would understand that he hasn’t done as well in the games he’s been given. It’s similar to Peter Crouch – he had to be patient but he made an impact as a sub to earn starts. It’s not just about an XI, it’s a squad game and you need to play a part when called upon.”
Berahino has made nine appearances this season, but just two of those have been starts in the Premier League and he is yet to score a goal.
And Hughes confirmed to BBC Radio Stoke that his side was not set up to include Berahino.
“Saido Berahino will get opportunities. The way we set up isn’t the best system for Saido. But when he’s had his chances he’s had to take them,” added Hughes.