MANAGER Russell Martin expects Kyle Walker-Peters to stay at Saints beyond the January transfer window after positive conversations with the star. 

The 26 year old netted the only goal of Southampton's 1-0 win over Bristol City at St Mary's on Wednesday, curling in from the edge of the area with his weak foot.

Walker-Peters, who is a two-time England international, was one of a number of players feared likely to depart following the club's relegation from the Premier League

However, he is instead the only outfield player to play every single minute of their 18 Championship matches so far. 

Despite interest in the defender, Martin and the club are planning to have Walker-Peters all season and believe only an "extraordinary" offer will change that.

Asked if Saints can keep Walker-Peters, Martin said: "Yeah, I think so. We need to get promoted to the Premier League and then he will be really happy. 

Daily Echo: Southampton manager Russell Martin during the Championship match between Southampton and Bristol City at St Mary's Stadium. Photo by Stuart Martin.


"If we don't, I'm sure there will be interest. But I was surprised we managed to keep hold of him in the summer and that's a credit to the owners for staying strong. 

"There were lots of people interested but I don't think there is any inkling of him wanting to leave. I know there is not, as we had a long chat about it. 

"Unless something really extraordinary comes up for him and the club, then we'll have to see, we're planning on having him here until the end of the season and seeing where we get to. 

"He likes it here and was really hurt with the relegation and the way it happened. The players really care and he really does."

Asked about his future earlier this season, Walker-Peters told the Daily Echo: "I'm not someone who was going to force my way out or have things put in the media. That’s not my style.

"I came in and spoke to the manager on day one and I got to work. I worked as hard as I could to learn the gaffer’s new style."

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Assessing the impact of Walker-Peters, Martin continued: "He is an amazing player, brilliant technician and he can do so many jobs for us and does.

"Against Bristol City, there were moments where he was high and wide but he also tucked in to help with the build-up and then rolled into midfield.

"He is even better than I thought he was and I knew he was good. He played one of his early games for Spurs at Carrow Road and absolutely destroyed us.

"I thought then that this kid is going to be really brilliant so the fact he finds himself in the Championship is a bit of a surprise.

"We are lucky to have him and he has an opportunity with our style to look really incredible and I think he is taking that opportunity.

"His mentality is growing, too. He is becoming more of a leader in the group, which I think he can be. It is my job to make him enjoy himself and want to stay here for a while."