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Southampton Opinion: Saints have done the right thing by offering Yan Valery a new deal

According to Sky Sports, Southampton starlet Yan Valery has signed a new contract which should keep him at St.Mary’s until 2023.

Valery, who joined Southampton from French club Rennes as a teenager back in 2015, made his first-team debut for the Saints in the Carabao Cup game against Leicester City in November and has featured regularly in the Premier League under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.

The 20-year-old has made a total of 14 starts in the Premier League this season, with most of his involvement coming since the turn of the year.

Valery, who has played as a right-wing back and a right-sided midfielder under Hasenhuttl, has been one of the driving forces behind Southampton’s mini-resurgence which has seen the Saints climb out of the relegation zone with some impressive victories in recent weeks.

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Valery scored an absolute stunner in Southampton’s 3-2 defeat against Manchester United and followed it up with the equaliser in the Saints’ 2-1 humbling of Spurs last week. While James Ward-Prowse has stolen much of the limelight at the south coast club for his recent upturn of form, Valery has emerged as one of the breakout stars of the Premier League this season.

Following the departure of Cedric Soares to Inter Milan on loan in January, the onus was on Valery to fill in the boots of the experienced Portuguese international and he has proved himself as the right man for the job with some consistently impressive displays.

As a matter of fact, Valery, with his youthful exuberance and ability to contribute to the attack by playing further up the pitch, has proven himself to be a better fit for Hasenhuttl’s attacking philosophy which demands the wingers to attack their opposite number.

Playing with utmost confidence and exhibiting solid big-game temperament in his performances against clubs like Man United and Spurs, the youngster has never looked like a newcomer to the Premier League. Furthermore, he has improved defensively as well in recent games, showing the awareness to track back and cut out the attacks.

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To put things into perspective, Southampton need to build a formidable squad for the future, and to do that, they need to rely on young players. The Southampton academy is renowned for producing fine young talents and the Saints should try to accommodate some of their academy products into the first-team.

Yan Valery has already shown strong signs of excellence and the decision to offer him a long-term deal is definitely a step in the right direction.

The Saints haven’t had much luck with their big-money signings in the transfer market in recent seasons, with the likes of Pablo Osvaldo, Guido Carrillo, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Sofiane Boufal all failing to make much of an impact.

The failure of the marquee signings to deliver the goods has left the club fighting for relegation in recent seasons. They made it to the Europa League just a few seasons back but things have gone horribly wrong for them ever since.

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Southampton have looked more like a team on a mission under the charismatic stewardship of Ralph Hasenhuttl and the Saints need to think beyond just avoiding relegation this season. They need to build a strong core of first-team players to challenge for a top-ten finish in the subsequent seasons and Yan Valery has the qualities to mature into a future star.

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