Italian International Davide Santon had a good season that’s just ended, and the 22 year-old certainly improved and is a better player now, than when Newcastle signed him from Inter-Milan almost two years ago for a round £5M.
David Santon – has improved in two years at Newcastle
And Davide also seems to have made a good recovery from the hamstring injury which ended his season early, and his instructions this summer are to rest up, and allow the hamstring to fully heal before pre-season begins on 4th July.
Last season he played 38 times for the Magpies with one great goal against Wigan, and in total he has now appeared 65 times for Newcastle.
Davide has made the left back spot his own, but he will be challenged next season by 20 year-old Massadio Haidara, the French U21 International who was signed for £2M from Nancy in January, and the Frenchman has said he has come to Newcastle to play and not just watch.
This is what Massadio said yesterday in the local papers:
“I’m happy with the contributions I have made because I came here to play, not watch.” “In France I had already played in the first team with Nancy.” “When I came here I knew I wouldn’t be in the starting line-up quite as much.
“I’m definitely happy to have some game time under my belt. I just want to help the team.” “I hope that next season I’ll still be able to make the same contributions too.” “I feel better and better as time goes on,”“As time goes on I feel more settled in.”
“The first two or three weeks were difficult as it was the first time that I left the club who trained me up from being very young.” “I had my little habits there, but I had to change everything. I had to start everything again from scratch.”
“Day by day, I am feeling happy both on and off the field.” “I understand the language better and I am speaking a lot better.” “I feel happy and settled, and hopefully it continues in the new season.”
Massadio is having a holiday in America so he can brush up on his (or should that be learn) English, and it’s strange that he also picked up a hamstring injury at the end of the season, which ruled him out for the last two games.
But he will go all out to challenge for that first team left-back slot next season – and he’s certainly looked a very good player already, and he will only improve with more time on Tyneside.
Massadio Haidara – already looks an accomplished player
It’s always good to have competition at Newcastle and we’ll see 20 year-old Massadio and 22 year-old Davide fighting it out for that left back spot.
And come to think of it 24 year-old Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa looked excellent in the last few games of the season playing at left back – so he’ll be challenging there also.
And since both Davide and Mapou can play equally well on the right hand side – that will be a challenge to Mathieu Debuchy to play well – if he wants to keep the right-back spot his own next season.
You can also reach Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org