(Reuters) - Stoke City striker Saido Berahino is in contention to make his first start for the club when they travel to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday, manager Mark Hughes has said.
The 23-year-old Berahino has made two substitute appearances since his move from West Bromwich Albion in January and has impressed the manager during Stoke’s training camp in Dubai.
“Berahino is looking really sharp and we are really pleased with what we are seeing. He is close to being ready to start now,” Hughes told reporters on Friday.
Berahino has not scored a league goal for nearly a year and saw his career stall at his former club due to a series of off-field incidents.
“Whether this weekend is too early for him we will have to wait and see,” Hughes added.
“He is itching to start matches now. We are excited by him. He will play a part on Sunday because he is showing the qualities that attracted us to him in the first place.”
With third-placed Tottenham yet to lose a league game at White Hart Lane this season, Hughes urged Stoke, who are ninth the in the table, not to be rattled by the north London club’s impressive home record.
“Hopefully we will be sharp from the off. They are a strong side, they are very impressive at home and we will be up against it. We are in good shape though,” he added.
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra