West Bromwich Albion's Pepe Mel: 'Saido Berahino extremely important to us'

Saido Berahino of West Bromwich Albion celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace at The Hawthorns on November 2, 2013
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Pepe Mel insists that Saido Berahino is "extremely important" to West Bromwich Albion following the youngster's altercation with teammate James Morrison.

West Bromwich Albion head coach Pepe Mel has insisted that Saido Berahino is vital in the club's fight for Premier League safety.

Questions regarding the 20-year-old's future at The Hawthorns have been raised following a physical altercation between the youngster and James Morrison after Saturday's 3-3 draw with Cardiff City.

During the fallout of the incident, former Baggies forward Peter Odemwingie suggested on Twitter that Berahino, who later 'favourited' the message, should leave the club in the summer.

When speaking about Berahino in Thursday's press conference, Mel said: "This week he's worked exceptionally well in training and I am very impressed with his positive reaction and what this says for the future.

"In addition to being an excellent player he is also very intelligent. He has shown this in training and I am certain he is going to help us in the next game.

"I've spoken to him throughout the week. He is very positive. He will be extremely important to us in final seven games."

Berahino, whose side are three points above the Premier League relegation zone, is said to have suffered a minor head injury following the incident.

West Bromwich Albion's Burundian striker Saido Berahino cerebrates scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match against West Ham United on December 28, 2013
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