FORMER Saints captain Jason Dodd believes Yan Valery has the potential to be the perfect modern full-back.

Dodd has been impressed with how Valery has risen to the challenge in his first 19 appearances in the Saints first team.

The undoubted highlight of the 20 year-old’s first season as a Premier League player – after being handed his debut in the 2-2 draw against Manchester United (Mark Hughes’ last game in charge) – was his incredible strike in the return game at Old Trafford in March.

Dodd, who made 398 appearances as a Saints right-back, believes Valery has the all-round game to excel in the Premier League for many years to come.

He said: “He’s quick and explosive – not like I ever was!

"He reminds me of Kyle Walker and the best full-backs in the Premier League, who are now are more offensive.

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Kyle Walker

"They’re good at going forward and bombing on – and he’s got that in abundance.

“He’s a got a great shot on him and is quick. He’s performing really well and deserves the plaudits he’s getting.”

Valery has the potential to surpass David Peach as Saints’ highest-scoring full-back.

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Jason Dodd

Dodd, who was also 19 when he made his Saints debut, said: “He’s got all the credentials you need.

"And as he gets more games under his belt he’ll become more savvy and realise that while getting forward is wonderful he’s got to prioritise the defensive side of his game.

“He’s raw so he’ll make mistakes, but that’s normal for a young lad. He’s got all the attributes to be a good player as we’ve seen during the season.”

Since his time as Saints first-team coach and academy director, Dodd has set up the coaching centre Proco Football Foundation.