Southampton have a history of producing great talents or exposing them to the bigger picture. Luke Shaw, Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane and many more – you name them.
The 2021-22 season has seen the rise of another young talent with a lot of potential through the Chelsea youth ranks – Valentino Livramento, who joined the Saints this summer after the departure of Ryan Bertrand. The English full-back is just 18 years old, turning 19 in November. He has already cemented his place in Ralph Hassenhutl’s side at St. Mary’s.
Livramento has been one spark in Southampton’s somewhat dim performance this season. He has gathered a lot of acclaim from fans and critics alike in England and became a huge fan favourite of the fantasy football players over the internet.
We look at his stats from the season so far.
Featured in all nine matches so far, Livramento made his Premier League debut against Everton. He has nailed down his place as the right full-back at the back four of Southampton’ 4-4-2 formation. He has spent the majority of his time on the right side of the pitch naturally and has covered extensive areas on this flank- from one corner flag to the opposite. The Englishman has spent a lot of time near the centre in his own half but has spent more time in the opposition half just outside the penalty area providing the width on the right-the red and orange areas in the above viz. He has posed a heavy threat while going forward and very well become a great modern-day fullback in times to come.
He has averaged a total of 64 touches per 90 on the ball with 35 passes, attempting a total of 312 passes in all. His precision to pick out a player has been quite good with a completion accuracy of 83%. The majority of his passes have been on the right side of the pitch but mostly in the opposition half near the attacking third. Livramento’ attacking intent is quite clear as he played most of his passes in forward progression trying to build an attack. The passes he has played in his own half are majorly forward balls than lateral and back passes. This is an amazing sign of confidence in a young player like him and he is extremely comfortable in carrying the ball forward as well. The full-back has not given any assists so far but have played in a lot of threatening balls into the box with 24 crosses, a few with xT as high as 0.3060.
As the pass map shows his attacking intent, the above shot maps show his attacking output. Livramento scored his debut Premier League goal against Burnley on Saturday in a 2-2 draw with a beautiful header, which intends to the aerial threat he possesses. Other than that, he has taken five shots so far, mostly from the edge of the area and has also registered a shot accuracy of 40%.
The teenage sensation has been equally strong defending at the back as influential as he has been going forward. Engaging in 96 duels yet, he has won 56 of it, a whopping 58% which is a really great number for a defender who is featuring in his first professional campaign at the biggest stage. Most of his successful duel winning locations have been near the defensive midfield area and outside the penalty area on the left. Livramento has engaged himself in ground defending duels more than aerials but also has won 36% of his air battles. He has been a pretty great tackler as well with 48% success of 21 tackles attempted. Other than that, the Englishman has recorded 16 clearances, three blocked shots and 11 interceptions so far.
There’s no shadow of doubt on the fact that Valentino Livramento is immensely talented. With a lot of time and good grooming, he can develop into one of the finest full-backs for the Three Lions.
Chelsea has added a buy-back clause on his contract which activates in 2023. If he keeps on developing into a better version of himself, the Blues would surely keep him on the radar to bring him back, to replace the aging Cesar Azpilicueta for the long term.
However, this season his performances would be vital for Southampton’ Premier League future.