West Brom manager Tony Pulis has backed striker Saido Berahino to emerge as a surprise contender for Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad.
Berahino is now back in the Baggies starting line-up after failing to secure a move away from The Hawthorns in the past two transfer windows, with a September strike threat issued on Twitter preceding a spell in the wilderness in between.
While Berahino has apologised for that social-media outburst, days before ending a four-month goal drought in the Barclays Premier League, he has failed to build on last season when he scored 20 goals and was called up to England’s senior team.
Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane have since moved ahead of the uncapped Berahino in the pecking order and Hodgson this week refused to rule out including 18-year-old Marcus Rashford, whose Manchester United side face West Brom this weekend, in his Euro 2016 squad, even though his senior debut only came last week.
However, providing he stays focused, Pulis believes Berahino can make it to France this summer.
“Saido’s got to get his house in order and get everything sorted out,” said Pulis. “He’s played a couple of games and played exceptionally well. For the rest of the season it hasn’t been a season that he’ll look back on with relish.
“He’s done brilliantly last couple of games. Let’s hope he really, really hits form from now and the end of the season and everything changes quickly.
“If he can score five, six goals in the next 10 games and play as well as what he has done, there’s no reason why he wouldn’t have an outside chance for me to get selected.
“What Saido’s got to do more than anything else is get on the pitch and work very, very hard and show the qualities he’s got and score goals.
“I’m not telling Roy who to pick or who not to pick, I wouldn’t do that with any national manager – that’s their job, their responsibility. But what he can do is give him a little bit of a headache if he plays really well between now and the end of the season.”