With Southampton eyeing at least two full-back signings this summer, it appears that Yan Valery’s time at the club may be coming to an end.
The young Frenchman spent half of the 2020/21 season out on loan with Birmingham City and has been out of favour for a while at St Mary’s, with Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl confirming why his player was sent out temporarily in the past campaign.
Speaking in May’s Fans’ Forum (18:30), in which Kyle Walker-Peters was also present, Hasenhuttl said:
"“Especially the positions where we are not really doubling up. Kyle (Walker-Peters) sits here – we have sent Yan Valery on-loan because we were not happy with his development as a player, so we definitely need an alternative to him (KWP) because we were always struggling when he was out or not performing good.”"
Transfer reports suggest Valery may move on from Southampton
According to Hampshire Live, a decision will be made on Valery’s future this summer. The fact that Ralph Hasenhuttl also chose to mention Valery’s situation in the Fans’ Forum when asked about transfers is telling of where things may be heading.
More from Saints Marching
- Grading the Southampton Transfer Window Part 2: Arrivals
- Grading the Southampton Transfer Window Part 1: Departures
- It’s time to talk about Gavin Bazunu
- Rain clouds on the horizon? Southampton beat Plymouth Argyle
- A lament for Southampton legend James Ward-Prowse
It has been tough for Valery to return to the first-team setup in the same form that he did before his battle with glandular fever back in 2019 that kept him out for three months.
The hope was that his spell at Birmingham would help him to hit the ground running again but he made just two starts in the Midlands and did not make their matchday squads in the last 10 games.
Now with multiple full-backs being linked to Saints and Kyle Walker-Peters clear ahead of Valery as the first-choice option at right-back, he may be looking for a new club somewhen soon.
Ralph Hasenhuttl may well give the 22-year-old a chance to impress in pre-season but things will surely move on very quickly if that good impression does not come.
Valery became an important part of Hasenhutt’s team when the Austrian first arrived at the club but the switch from a system using wing-backs to one that uses a back four has seen more defensive reliability needed – something that Kyle Walker-Peters has provided.