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Saturday 18 November 2017

Hughes has no problem with starting Berahino at Baggies

Damien Spellman
Damien Spellman

Stoke manager Mark Hughes sees no reason why he should not select striker Saido Berahino for today's Premier League clash at former club West Brom.

Hughes confirmed yesterday morning that Berahino had served a suspension before he joined the Potters in a £12million move during the January transfer window.

Berahino did not play any competitive football between West Brom's Premier League game at Bournemouth on September 10 and making his Stoke debut in Wednesday's clash with Everton.

It is reported the former England Under-21 international tested positive for a banned substance during an out-of-competition test in September. The English Football Association has declined to comment on the matter.

While Berahino may find himself under the spotlight again, Hughes does not see why he should leave out a player whom he believes has yet to produce his best football.

"We were aware of that (suspension) before we signed him," Hughes said.

''He had issues at his previous club for 18 months, which this is obviously a part of.

''As with all players we did our research on him before we signed him, but that didn't change our thinking at all.

''We are pleased with what he is producing and he is looking forward to the game tomorrow.'' The Stoke boss added: "Why wouldn't I play him?"

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