Saido Berahino's stuttering Stoke City career has suffered another setback, with manager Paul Lambert admitting that the out-of-favour striker is not fit enough to play for the first team.
Berahino has played 13 times in the Premier League this season, mostly from the bench, but has not scored a single goal for the Potters since joining the club in January 2017.
His last senior goal was for former club West Bromwich Albion against Crystal Palace in February 2016: over two years ago. The Burundi-born forward was once seen as a future England star, but is now a peripheral figure in Lambert's relegation-threatened side.
0 - Today is two years to the day that Saido Berahino last scored in a senior competitive fixture (Feb 27th 2016). Since then, he has:— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 27, 2018
- Played 42 games & 2324 minutes
- Attempted 55 shots, with 20 on target
- Missed three penalties
And the Scottish boss stressed that Berahino must work on his fitness if he is to ever become a Stoke regular again.
"He's not up to my level of fitness," said Lambert, as quoted by Sky Sports. "He's a fit lad, but there's got to be more to it, that he's got to work on.
"I have told him that, so he knows the situation and what I'm explaining. I think he's been really good with me working away at it, but it has to come from him as well.
(You may also be interested in Paul Lambert Reveals One Key Factor Which Could Prevent Stoke Re-Signing Kurt Zouma)
"We have given him a wee programme to stick to as well. We're in a situation where we need everyone to perform when they're called upon.
"I think he's [Berahino] an absolutely fantastic, incredible finisher, but you need a bit more at times," added Lambert.