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Yan Valery: “I cleaned Sadio Mané’s boots!”

Speaking as a guest of RMC Sport, 20-year-old Southampton right-back Yan Valery discussed the technology provided by the Saints to improve and his relationship with Sadio Mané.

On arriving at Southampton in 2015 at the age of 15 from Rennes:

The thing that impressed me the most were the facilities. The pitches, it felt like I had jumped into the future. You could immediately see the difference. The pitch was much better, the training centre has like 15 pitches. And even the way you train is completely different. You arrive, and they give you iPads, on the iPads you can watch yourself in training back. You have everything to be successful. On the iPads you have analysis on you, after a match, all the analysis on you that you could imagine. After all the training sessions too, what you did well and what you didn’t do well. You also have for example how many minutes you played, how many kilometres you ran, really everything. You have everything to give your all. You have no excuse not to. I think it (the technology) is fantastic. If we are doing an 11 vs 11 in training, and the coach tells me certain things about positioning. I can reinforce that by watching the session back, because sometimes its harder to see from your own perspective on the pitch. Honestly, you have no excuse, you can only improve there.

On his relationship with Sadio Mané:

At Southampton, in the U18s, you have to clean the boots of a player and then at Christmas they give you a bit of money. They gave me Sadio Mané’s boots because he spoke French and I didn’t speak English well. When I went to train with them when I was 16… when I didn’t speak English well, he (Sadio) would translate for me and give me advice. He even advised me about certain words I should say on the pitch which to this day has helped me in matches.

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