This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Birmingham City secured the signing of the Southampton right-back Yan Valery on transfer deadline day.
The 21-year-old joined on loan until the end of the season with him not playing a key role for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints side thus far this campaign.
So, from a Blues perspective, what do you make of this signing? Good addition?
The team here at FLW assess….
This looks a bit of a coup.
Valery has played senior football with Southampton and is clearly very highly thought of on the South Coast.
Birmingham have done well to land his service and I think he’s arriving to play.
He’s got that youthful energy about him and that could be quite refreshing in a Birmingham side that have been stale to watch sometimes this season.
Of course, he’s in at the deep end in terms of Blues’ position in the table. However, the fearless nature of young players is sometimes ideal in these situations.
A good signing that I expect to be a success.
Quiz: Did each of these 18 ex-Birmingham City players ever score a goal at St Andrew’s?
Birmingham are lacking quality all over the pitch, but the sheer number of goals they’ve conceded this season means that defensively Aitor Karanka needed to improve, despite keeping a rare clean sheet at Wycombe on Tuesday.
Maxime Colin has been the regular right-back for the Blues this season, so Valery has clearly come in to push the Frenchman – with Karanka generally lacking cover in the wide full-back areas. Youngster Josh Cogley has made the odd appearance when Colin isn’t available, but clearly isn’t fully trusted yet.
And Valery not only has a decent amount of Premier League experience, but at 21-years-old, will arrive at St Andrew’s with a major point to prove in a bid to impress Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, which is why I believe this is a cracking addition.
Valery started Saints’ recent league defeat to Arsenal, but having made just six appearances throughout the first half of the campaign, the defender will have to prove himself that he’s fit enough to cope with the demands of the Championship before he’s willing of a starting place in Karanka’s team.
This is an excellent move for Birmingham City.
Yan Valery is a really promising talent and that’s why he’s rated so highly at Southampton.
Given his credentials it would be a huge surprise if he didn’t play a key role under Aitor Karanka at Birmingham City.
First team football is a must for the player, but given the Blues’ struggles there’s certainly an opportunity for him to impress at St Andrews.