Opinion

Southampton’s Yan Valery shows potential of being France’s next Benjamin Pavard

Southampton’s Yan Valery shows potential of being France’s next Benjamin Pavard

Some beautiful goals lit up Old Trafford during Manchester United thriller against Southampton.

While Romelu Lukaku’s winner naturally attracted the most attention, it was a fantastic strike from young Yan Valery which got things rolling. The classy right-back scored his first ever Premier League goal with a long-distance screamer, which even David De Gea couldn’t keep out.

Valery’s been Southampton’s rising star this season, being the latest graduate from their infamous youth academy. Ralph Hasenhuttl has clearly seen potential in him, playing him as the right wing-back, allowing him enough freedom to express himself.

Indeed, the youngster has impressively pounced on his opportunities and if the bright performance against United proves anything, he’s here to stay.

Not only did he score that fantastic opening goal, Valery was also a strong figure defensively, keeping Alexis Sanchez quiet, while also matching Marcus Rashford for pace. He made six clearances, four ball-recoveries (stats via Fotmob) and was a persistent figure going forward.

While unlucky to be on the losing side, the bright performance reasserted himself as another blooming prospect for France. Be it the goal or his style, Valery mirrors Benjamin Pavard, who is struggling to impress in club-level. The fact that Valery has a 93% tackling success, made 44 clearances, 11 interceptions and 54 ball recoveries in 15 appearances (stats via Premier League) proves how impressive a defensive prospect he is.

Didier Deschamps must’ve been impressed with what he saw from the youngster, who could soon breeze into the France national team and beyond if he retains his stunning rise at St. Mary’s.

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