It has been an unforgettable week for Yan Valery.
A composed performance against Leicester City in the Carabao Cup answered the question as to whether the young Frenchman was ready for the Premier League and he followed it up with another solid showing against Manchester United at St Mary’s.
Valery, who signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with Saints in February of this year, was one of the last Saints players to leave the field at full time to soak up the applause of an appreciative home crowd.
“It was a dream,” he said. “I was not really thinking about who I was coming up against - they are just players - if you think that way then it is not right for your performance. I just wanted to play my football and focus on myself.
“I was pleased with the way I played considering it was my first game. I’m still not 100 per cent confident because it is new for me and I know that I can do better. I am happy that everyone believes in me and I just have to show what I can do now.”
From his team-mates in the U23s right through to the senior squad and the coaching staff, the 19-year-old took to the pitch and departed it knowing he had the full backing of all at the football club, a source of strength for the former Rennes youngster.
“Everyone talked to me and helped me, all of the players and the manager too. I was just waiting for this chance and I’m really happy it has come.
“The whole squad’s support was so important. As a young player going into the first team level you need people who have the experience to help you and give you advice and take on board as much as you can. Before the game, during the game, they were talking to me and I just listened to it.”