We see that Jose Enrique is finding it difficult to get a first team starting place in the Premier League at Liverpool at the moment, with new manager Brendan Rodgers preferring England U21 International Martin Kelly and England starter Glen Johnson in the two full back positions, with Johnson usually starting at left back these days.
Davide Santon – this lad looks a class player
Contrast that to the lad who was brought in to replace Enrique at Newcastle – Davide Santon – who seems to be looking better with almost every game now in a Newcastle shirt, and he’s only 21 and still can improve big time.
We got around £6.5M for Enrique when Kenny Dalglish took him away a year last August.
And Newcastle brought in the then 20 year-old Italian international Davide Santon for just £5M, who knew all about Newcastle’s history and was keen to join the Tyneside club from Italian powerhouse Inter-Milan.
Not surprisingly, the fans immediately took to the youngster, whose parents came over and stayed almost four weeks on Tyneside, until their son got settled in.
Well, he seems to be even more settled now at Newcastle, since he now has a Geordie girlfriend (what could be better?), which no doubt has helped the young Italian alot.
Davide could go on and become a regular Italian International – he already has 7 caps – if he keeps improving like he’s done since he’s arrived at Newcastle United.
This is what manager Alan Pardew said about the 21 year-old today, when reminded that the then Inter-Milan manager Jose Mourinho had said he was the future of the club when he first broke into the first team:
“I think he is better than that. I think he was a boy then and he was a boy last year too. He is a man now and is starting to play like a man.” “His raids down the left-hand side are becoming better – he is as potent as Jonas from the left-back position.
“I think that is his best position because he can go both ways. He is comfortable down the outside, like with that chance for Papiss Cisse on Sunday where he delivered a great cross.” “He still has lots to learn, trust me, to be a top Italian full-back, but he is certainly making some inroads.”
“If you thought we were going to get an instant replacement for Enrique, we would have had to pay more than £10m.” “Instead, we got a young player who was going to grow with us and he is starting to grow and be very effective for us.”
“I am so pleased for him. He is a lovely lad, loves the area and does a great job.” “His language skills have improved.” “I think he has a North East girlfriend now cooking him some nice pies so he is a bit happier.” “He just looks in a good place and I am really pleased with him.”
Those pies will always get the job done.
The news in the Journal today suggests that Newcastle considered letting Davide go in the summer, and even thought of signing a new left back – which is why we probably heard links over the summer with Roma and other Italian clubs.
But it seems it was the manager who had faith in the 21 year-old, and Pardew convinced the powers that be at Newcastle to keep him on Tyneside – and that is looking like an excellent decision these days.
You cannot expect a youngster to settle quickly in a foreign country in just one season.
Davide has nailed down the left-back position at Newcastle, and he’s been playing excellently for the team, and he will get a chance tonight at Old Trafford, where he will most likely start in the Capital One Cup.
This lad can soon become a top player for Newcastle, and he’s already a big favorite on Tyneside, and in short – we’re very pleased he’s still on the books.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Buy your Newcastle tickets here.