Saido Berahino hits back at West Brom after signing for Stoke City
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 28/01/17 8:40am
Saido Berahino has hit back at the way West Brom portrayed his absence from their first team, stating what he knew was the "opposite" to what the club said in the media.
The 23-year-old completed a protracted move away from The Hawthorns this week, signing for Stoke in a £15m move.
Berahino has described a difficult two years for him and his family, in which he was taken in and out of the team and rejected offers of a new contract.
"It is hard to explain, because the reason they were saying in the press was the opposite to what I knew," he said ahead of Stoke's Premier League clash against Everton, in which he could make his debut.
"I was accused of being fat, but how can you become fat after starting three games in the league and then being dropped? Suddenly you are unfit? So it is a question mark.
"They never actually told me why I wasn't playing. It could be because I didn't sign a new contract.
"And especially when, from the first one, I said to them I didn't want to sign because I didn't feel like I was part of their plans, and they still went and offered me a new one.
"I didn't want the fans thinking I was rejecting it because I'm bigger than the club - that's never been the case.
"I'm not bigger than West Brom. They made me who I am right now and gave me that platform, so it was hard for me getting all that abuse from the fans. They made life hard for me and my family.
"They didn't understand exactly what was happening, but the people involved in it know exactly what happened."
Following the concerns expressed about his weight and fitness, Berahino was sent by the club to France for a personal training programme.
And regarding that, he said on Friday: "They had to cover themselves - the club always has their own interests. They say what they have to say."