The Frenchman, who is usually deployed as a right-back, started as a centre-half as the Saints lined up in a five-at-the-back formation, which will definitely go down as a failed experiment by the Austrian.
It was far too easy for Spurs to cut through Southampton’s defence and it was no surprise when Valery was axed at half-time, as he was replaced by Jack Stephens.
The 23-year-old, who reportedly earns £16k per week at St Mary’s, has struggled for regular football since joining Southampton from Rennes in 2015, making just 52 appearances in all competitions, contributing two goals and two assists.
Last season saw Valery feature only five times in the Premier League for the Saints, so it was certainly a surprise to see him start, especially ahead of summer recruit Armel Bella-Kotchap.
When Valentino Livramento returns from injury, Valery will presumably go back to being Southampton’s third-choice right-back and considering his less than impressive performances in recent seasons, it might be time for the Saints to cash in.
The Frenchman has just one year left on his contract at St Mary’s and certainly doesn’t deserve a new deal, so selling him this summer rather than potentially losing him for nothing next year makes a great deal of sense for the Saints.
Valery has come under criticism in the past, with the Athletic journalist Dan Sheldon pointing out his flaws in 2020, saying:
“I find when I watch Valery, he doesn’t drift in and out of games, but every now and then, he’ll do something [to make you say] ‘Oh, wow, that’s good.’
“And then he’d go and do something [and] you think ‘oh, my word’. He’s so vulnerable at the back. At the moment, he is their weak link in defence.”
Southampton had one of the poorest defensive records in the Premier League last season, shipping 67 times – the fourth worst tally. Unfortunately, the signs from the opening game suggest that they could be in for another season of struggle in that department.
It is difficult to see them improving if Valery continues to play, as he earned the lowest rating from SofaScore of any starting Southampton player in the Spurs defeat, winning just 25% of his duels and completing only 15 passes in a 45-minute cameo to forget.
Therefore, Hasenhuttl should look to get rid of him as soon as possible, as it is the right decision from both a football and financial perspective. Perhaps the Saints could even look to reinvest the money from any future sale into improving other areas, like the much-talked-about centre-forward role.