Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Versatile Santon Key to Rebuilding United

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Versatile Santon Key to Rebuilding United

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Douglas Chief Sports Writer mark.douglas@ncjmedia.co.uk

ALAN Pardew has tipped Davide Santon to become Newcastle United's answer to Phil Neville - and suggested he is a central figure in the Magpies' plans to rebuild in the summer The United boss deployed Santon in central midfield to useful effect at Stamford Bridge and says he will play the Italy defender there again in the future. With a career spent switching between left and right-back, he already has the sort of versatility that made the younger Neville brother such an important part of Manchester United's title-winning squads during their glory days.

Although Santon's performances at full-back have not quite matched the level that he managed to produce on a consistent basis during the early stages of last season, the 23-year-old has proved good value for money at the PS5m figure that United invested in him back in 2011.

He was a Pardew pick - on the basis of a recommendation from Jose Mourinho - and the manager has suggested that he will be a central figure when the club look to refresh their squad at the end of a crossroads campaign.

With Cheick Tiote set to miss out again, Santon (pictured left) could play in the engine room as Newcastle prepare to face a Tottenhs am team riding high after their weekend defeat of Everton. Pardew thinks he has proved himself capable of matching the best sides in that role.

He said: "The important thing is that he's got a long-term future at this club because he's still only young and is gaining such experience.

He can play right-back, leftback and now he has shown can play central midfield, so you're looking at one very important player.

"When I look at someone like Phil Neville, Santon could in my opinion be the Phil Neville of this football club, a kind of unsung hero like Phil was at Man United. You look at when they won trophies he was very important."

With United near the bottom of the form table and losing touch with the European qualification places there has been a sense of drift at St James' Park of late.

The club's decision to sell Yohan Cabaye without any serious moves made to replace him made more of a statement than Pardew ever can about the club's intentions for the second half of the season, and even the long-overdue departure of Joe Kinnear has not prompted any real optimism for the future. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.