The sudden absence of Cedric from the squad against Tottenham caught everyone surprise, including Ralph Hasenhuttl.
The Saints boss admitted to The Southern Daily Echo that he had no idea why the Portuguese international decided to pull out from playing against Tottenham on Saturday, and although this piece of trivia has been largely what supporters have been talking about, it raises an even more important question.
Why wasn’t Yan Valery called up to the starting XI?
The 20-year-old youngster was a surprise success story last year for the Saints, with the 5’11” fullback last season making an impressive 24 appearances in all competitions for Southampton in the previous season as numbers from Transfermarkt show.
Yet despite seemingly breaking into the first-team in the 2018/19 campaign, Valery has been a noticeable absence from a good chunk of games this season, with numbers from Transfermarkt showing that the French prospect has played just three games despite being fit and available.
Which brings us to this weekend, where Valery was again put on the bench despite the injury to Cedric, which saw James Ward-Prowse take up the position as right-wingback in the XI as formations from WhoScored showed.
And it proved to a costly mistake as the Saints fell to a 2-1 defeat against Spurs, with Ward-Prowse’s positioning for the second goal being seemingly a cause for Harry Kane’s vital strike, and to make matters worse, figures from Transfermarkt show that the 24-year-old midfielder has hardly played in this position under Hasenhuttl.
Valery was once seen as the latest Southampton youngster to look likely to go places in the world of football, with the boss himself praising the 20-year-old via the club’s official website, yet the defender’s star power is slowly waning due to a lack of game time, and with Hasenhuttl playing a central midfielder over the right-back, the Frenchman’s future at the club could be in doubt.