Saido Berahino has been hailed as a “model professional” after scoring in his opening two matches for Belgian side Zulte Waregem.
And his new coach Francky Dury claimed it was “love at first sight” with the controversial former England U21 star who was paid off by Stoke earlier this month.”
Berahino was charged with drink driving in February and banned for eight weeks for testing positive for drugs.
His former team-mate Glenn Johnson accused the 26-year-old, who nearly joined Tottenham in 2015, of showing “total disrespect” to Stoke and claimed: “If I was a manager or club owner, I wouldn’t take him if you paid me.”
But the ex-Baggies has star has now agreed a two-year deal with the Belgian Premier League side – and scored in his opening games against Genk and Charleroi.
His new coach Dury told talkSPORT: “I like the boy – he is doing very well. Berahino is an excellent football player and intelligent.
“He comes on time, he takes his breakfast and lunch with the boys.
“He even has a special programme where he watches the opponent we play in our next match and he knows a lot of information about the other team. This for me is a real professional.
“I have got nothing to say about the past. The past is the past. I have a project with the boy in the future – it is not about the past.
“I am working now with a player who is happy and I am happy with him. I love the boy. The boy is accepted by all the players.
“Now I am looking forward. This weekend he was in the team of the week, he has scored two goals already so you are listening to a happy coach.
“For the moment, I have the model professional.
“I have nothing to say about his attitude. What Johnson said about him, I don’t know, I wasn’t there, I didn’t see it. For me personally, I cannot believe it. I can only speak about my own experience and, for the moment, this is very, very positive.
“From my first contact with the player, I was in my office with his two agents, it was love at first sight. The boy wants to play football.”
Berahino told the club website: “The past month I have regained my confidence and regained my pleasure in football.”