Yan Valery has been something of a forgotten man at Southampton since Kyle Walker-Peters arrived on loan with the South Coast club last January.
The former Spurs man quickly established himself as the first-choice right-back in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side and his signing was made permanent during the summer.
The 23-year-old has subsequently played every single minute of the Premier League this season, having become a key player for the Austrian manager in defence.
However, Walker-Peters has now been ruled out of Southampton’s match with Arsenal on Tuesday night, meaning that Valery will likely step in as his replacement against the Gunners.
The 21-year-old only made his first appearance of the season in the 1-0 win against Liverpool earlier this month, having been with the Southampton B team for much of the campaign.
He did make his first start in the FA Cup win against Shrewsbury Town but was relegated to the bench for the game against Arsenal on Saturday, showing that Walker-Peters is very much first-choice at the moment.
Valery had established himself as something of a regular in this Southampton side during the 2018/19 season, as he made 23 top-flight appearances, contributing two goals and one assist.
However, the signing of Walker-Peters, combined with the Frenchman suffering from glandular fever, has meant that game time has been hard to come by in the past two seasons.
Back in 2019, after an impressive goal against Manchester United, Hasenhuttl was full of praise for the young defender, saying:
“That’s something you demand from a young player. He gets the trust from us and then I want to see a brave player who is believing in himself and Yan made a fantastic development until now.
“Defensively he is better now and also offensively that’s exactly the way we want to go. I’m very happy for him that he scored for the first time, it was a fantastic goal and to shoot like this at Old Trafford shows how confident he is.”
The Austrian will be desperate for the Frenchman to produce a similar display when the Saints face Arsenal on Tuesday night, therefore, and hopefully, he can start showing some of his potential again with the South Coast club.
It is a rare chance for Valery to play and it is an opportunity he must make the most of if he wants to compete with Walker-Peters for the right-back spot in Hasenhuttl’s side.