In the nicest way possible, how many more opportunities does Yan Valery need to convince Ralph Hasenhuttl?
The promising right-back burst onto the scene last season under the former RB Leipzig boss, scoring eye-catching goals against Manchester United at Old Trafford and also against Tottenham at St Mary’s.
However, for whatever reason, the Frenchman has struggled to blossom.
Admittedly, he is still young at just 21 years of age, but what’s worrying is that Valery seemed to be better in his early days than he is now.
The Champigny-sur-Marne-born defender started the campaign as Hasenhuttl’s first-choice – finding himself in the starting XI for the first three games – but was then left out in the cold in favour of Cedric Soares, who had returned from Inter Milan in the summer.
A viral infection kept him out for a chunk of the season, and upon his return to action, Cedric was shipped off and Kyle Walker-Peters was signed on loan.
However, when the Austrian coach entrusted Valery to start ahead of the January signing against Newcastle last time out, it was the former Rennes prospect’s mistake which allowed Allan Saint-Maximin to net a late winner – Valery tried to control the ball inside the box, rather than clear it.
Now, the future for Southampton’s No.43 is very interesting.
This means that Southampton will have Valery and only Valery at right-back, so can the youngster finally tackle his inconsistencies and prove that he can hold down the position for years to come?
Alternatively, the Saints could decide that they’ve had enough and seek a marquee right-back to end their problems in that department.
One thing is for certain though – Valery’s future at St Mary’s will be worth keeping an eye on.
In other news, Southampton are leading the race to sign a long-term Hasenhuttl target who got ten assists last season…