It has been quite some start to the new season for West Bromwich Albion youngster Saido Berahinho. The striker was handed his first start for the club in the Capital One Cup and has twice excelled in an England jersey as part of Gareth Southgate's new look Under-21 side.
In these three appearances Berahino has already found the back of the net of five occasions, firing a hat-trick against Newport County in the League Cup before scoring in consecutive games for England.
It is some rise for a 20 year old who ten years ago was forced to flee his native Burundi after losing his father during a brutal civil war that saw some 300,000 killed.
Berahino travelled to England with his mother, brother and sisters, eventually being granted political asylum in Newtown, Birmingham. He would soon be spotted by West Brom scouts while playing for Phoenix United.
Having excelled in the Baggies youth system he was awarded a professional contract in the summer of 2011 and has never looked back. Now he hopes to continue his rapid rise and dreams of one day representing England at senior level.
"It (the war) is not something I like to talk about but it wasn't a great experience and I just thank God for giving me another opportunity to come to England and have a different life," he told the Express and Star.
"It's been an incredible journey. I had only been playing in England for about a year when I was picked up by West Brom and it's been unbelievable.
"West Brom's played a big role in my life. They have looked after me from a young age and I feel like I owe them something.
"Everyone's been great at West Brom and I want to thank them all. It's great I got noticed and can play for England too. England is a big part of my life as it gave me a second chance.
"Even though I'm not British-born I feel English as I have lived here for 10 years. It's a fantastic place to be."
Berahino underlined his talent by grabbing a hat trick for the West Brom first team, but it is his performances for England that have caught the eye. He netted on his Under-21 debut against Moldova - to help Southgate's side claim a 1-0 win - before firing an equaliser in the 1-1 draw with Finland.
He has looked at home on the international stage and West Brom manager Steve Clarke is glad to see the young striker making the headlines.
"He's getting his rewards, so I'm absolutely delighted for him," said Clarke. "It's good that we're talking about one of the products from the club's academy. You have to showyour young players and your academy graduates that there is a path to the first team."
With Premier League clubs coming under fire for failing to produce English talent, it is refreshing to see Berahino demonstrate the drive to force his way into contention. He may believe that England have him a second chance in life, but he is already paying the country back handsomely.
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