Ligue 1 champions Lille are reportedly interested in signing Yan Valery this summer, which could be the ideal opportunity for Ralph Hasenhuttl to get rid of the full-back, who has fallen down the pecking order in recent seasons.
According to journalist Sacha Tavolieri on Twitter, the French full-back is on Lille’s shortlist this summer as they look to strengthen in the right-back position.
Valery struggled for game-time last season, making only three appearances in the Premier League before being enduring a less than successful loan spell with Birmingham City in the Championship.
During his time with the Blues, the 22-year-old made just two starts in the second tier, which does not bode well for his future in Hasenhuttl’s side, especially with Kyle Walker-Peters likely to keep his starting spot on the right for the significant future having been one of the Saints’ best performers last season.
In the absence of Walker-Peters through injury last season, Hasenhuttl played the likes of Jan Bednarek, James Ward-Prowse and Jack Stephens at right-back rather than keeping Valery as the backup, which suggests that he doesn’t rate the youngster particularly highly.
Whilst it is something of a surprise that the French champions are reportedly keen on Valery this summer, it could represent a golden opportunity for Southampton to sell him. Also, it could be difficult for the right-back to turn down a move back to France, where he would have the opportunity to play in the Champions League.
If Southampton can put the funds from his exit into finalising a loan deal for Manchester United full-back Brandon Williams, then they would be bringing in an upgrade on Valery who can also provide cover for Romain Perraud at left-back. Therefore, it would make a lot of sense for the Saints to cash in if a replacement can be signed quickly.
The Athletic’s Southampton correspondent Dan Sheldon certainly doesn’t rate Valery particularly highly, as he criticised his form in 2020, saying: “He’s so vulnerable at the back. At the moment, he is their weak link in defence.”
Therefore, if Southampton can sell Valery this summer, then they should certainly do so as it seems clear that he doesn’t have much of a future in Hasenhuttl’s side.