It is not an unheard of concept in football for a more experienced player to be told to look out for young, up and coming stars and to try and keep them on the narrow, so it should come as little shock that West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis has told Darren Fletcher to spend some time with one of the club’s most troubled players.
The man in question is of course Saido Bernahino, who has been a revelation this season but has also found himself on the naughty step on more than one occasion after holding unsanctioned press conferences, saying he wants to leave the club and facing police charges for his driving skills – or lack thereof.
Fletcher came from Manchester United in January and was hailed as one of the best signings of the window for good reason. Not only is the player excellent at what he does on the field but he can also offer a huge amount off it in terms of his personality and experiences in the game.
He was one of the most popular players at United and both the players and the coaching staff were gutted to see him leave – but Fletcher himself knew that his time was up at Old Trafford if he wanted football week in, week out – and Tony Pulis was shrewd enough to land him.
Now the experienced Premier League manager is tapping into that wealth of experience and likeable personality to try and temper some of the more unsavoury traits Berahino has shown.
That cannot be a bad thing given there has been more than one young, talented player in the history of football who has managed to fall flat on his face and stall his career due to off the field issues and attitude problems – and with Ravel Morrison and Hatem Ben Arfa the latest in the Premier League to be shown the door – not to mention Jack Wilshere looking like going the same way, Pulis is taking steps to make sure his star man is not the next on the list – and there is no better player to mentor him.
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