Yan Valery: France-born defender commits to Tunisia

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Yan Valery in action for AngersYan Valery joined French Ligue 1 side Angers from Southampton at the start of September

Angers defender Yan Valery has agreed to play for Tunisia despite having the option to represent France, the North African country's football federation (FTF) has confirmed.

The 23-year-old was born near Paris and played for his country of birth at Under-17 and U18 level, but is eligible to represent the 2004 African champions nation through his mother.

A product of Southampton's academy, Valery has decided to take advantage of Fifa's rules on international eligibility and could now represent Tunisia at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

"He has completed all the necessary paperwork and will join the squad in France for the friendly matches against Comoros and Brazil," the FTF said in a statement.

Valery joins Lyon winger Chaim El Djebali, 18, as the latest additions to the Tunisia squad ahead of the World Cup finals.

Tunisia are benefiting from a recent Fifa rule allowing players greater scope to switch national teams.

Players can change allegiance as long as they they have played no more than three competitive matches at senior level prior to them turning 21.

However, appearances in the World Cup or continental tournaments such as the European Championship would prohibit a change of eligibility.

Valery joined the Southampton youth set-up in July 2015 and made his senior debut in November 2018.

He played for the Saints in their opening Premier League game of the season, a 4-1 defeat at Tottenham last month, before joining French top-flight side Angers at the start of September.

This week, Tunisia finalise their preparations for November's World Cup when taking on Comoros and Brazil in France-based friendlies.

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