Yan Valery was tipped to secure a loan move to Olympiacos late in the transfer window but he remains at Southampton, which could prove to be a huge mistake by CEO Martin Semmens.
As per Hampshire Live journalist Tom Leach, Olympiacos were keen to take the French defender on loan for the season, with links emerging shortly before the window shut, but in the end Southampton opted to keep him at St Mary’s.
The 22-year-old played 90 minutes in the 8-0 win against Newport County in the Carabao Cup recently but hasn’t appeared in any of the Premier League fixtures so far this term and looks unlikely to be in Hasenhuttl’s first team plans considering that both Kyle Walker-Peters and Valentino Livramento are ahead of him in the pecking order.
Last season saw the young right-back join Birmingham City on loan in the Championship, despite Hasenhuttl having a lack of options in that position, but he made just two starts for the Blues between January and the end of the campaign.
Whilst the Austrian might well be playing it safe and keeping Valery around as an emergency backup, it will do the 22-year-old’s confidence no good to be sitting on the bench every week.
A loan move to Olympiacos could have allowed him to regain his confidence before returning to St Mary’s next summer, when Southampton could have made a decision on his future and potentially cashed in on him before his contract expiry in 2023.
It is difficult to see Valery featuring again in the first team this season unless the Saints play another inferior opponent like Newport, or both Walker-Peters or Livramento suffer injuries.
Even then, we might see Hasenhuttl deploy one of Jack Stephens or Jan Bednarek at right-back as he opted to do last season, which again makes it seem strange why the £2.7m-rated Valery was kept around.
Although the youngster showed signs of promise in the 2018/19 season when he made 23 Premier League appearances, his career has unfortunately been on a downward slope since then, and Semmens may have made a big mistake in not letting him leave on loan.