Many Southampton players haven’t been at the top of their respective games for a while now as the club continues to struggle at the wrong end of the Premier League table, and there is no doubt that Cedric Soares is one of those.
The Portugal international looked as though he was going to be a real star for the south coast outfit when he first joined from Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2015 and went on to shine in his debut campaign under Ronald Koeman, but things have gone downhill since he won Euro 2016 with his country.
The 27-year-old has struggled to find any real form or consistency under Claude Puel, Mauricio Pellegrino and Mark Hughes since – including another display against Watford on Saturday where he came up short – but despite it not being up to scratch he has kept his spot in the starting XI because he has no senior competition in the squad for his right-back role.
The likes of Jack Stephens and James Ward-Prowse would be able to play out of position there but obviously don’t have the same natural attributes that the Portuguese man does, meaning youngster Yan Valery should be a viable option.
The 19-year-old has been a regular for the U23s at right-back and has plenty of pace, and if Saints want to continue putting their faith in their academy players then Hughes should hand him his full debut at Craven Cottage in what is a crucial clash at the bottom of the Premier League.
We want Southampton fans to vote on our poll below to tell us who they would like to see start at right-back against Slavisa Jokanovic’s team.