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Where would Santon fit in our starting XI?

Posted on August 29th, 2011 | 41 Comments |

Ball watching is not a good trait from a defender.
From Inter to Newcastle for £5m?
With talk of Davide Santon to Newcastle seeming ever likely, the obvious question is where will he fit into the squad?

The 20 year old started plying his trade on the wing and gradually moved back to his current position as full back, or to be more precise, wing back and despite being right footed, can play on either flank and is always willing to terrorise both defenders and attackers with his raw pace.

You’ll all be glad to know that unlike most Italian players, this lad actually has strength and doesn’t go down screaming about how the wind knocked him off the ball and how it should be red carded for violent conduct. So there’s a bonus.

Of course, the title is a little bit sensationalist – he could walk into the squad in either full back position and he probably knows it. He fits into the continental style of right footers on the left wing and vice verse and as far as I know he could very well prefer the left flank – that is, after all, where he gets the most games.

The point remains: with the current form of Ryan Taylor, perhaps it could be Danny Simpson who stands to lose his position to the rising Italian star. Alternatively, he could also take Raylor’s spot at left back, leaving Raylor to move out to the right – we’ll only know when, or indeed if, he comes.

With the departure of Joey Barton to QPR and the absence of Guthrie due to injury, Ryan is left with a unique trait among our starting XI and he has proved that twice in as many games – the man is a dead ball specialist.

Yohan Cabaye is another player who fancies himself with a rocket of a set piece and now Barton has gone, he’s free to knock those corners in as often as he likes – but would you replace somebody like Ryan Taylor with the form he’s been in?

As Pardew himself said after that Sunderland game, whoever we get in for left back will have to be something special to remove him and it’s something I completely agree with. Ryan has earned his place and from his lack luster performances at right back the past few seasons, I have to say that I have full confidence in him and against Fulham we even saw him bombing up and down the flank to try and whip in crosses, or to free up some space for Jonas to… well, do something anyway.

So perhaps Santon’s arrival could signal the end of Simpson’s days in the starting XI?

I should make it clear that I personally think Simpson has done a decent job for us. At Fulham he started getting up to support Obertan in an effort to try and get an assist or two but his late challenges were almost reckless at times and resulted in a yellow card. Maybe the baby has been keeping him awake?

Santon has been touted by many to be the next Paolo Maldini and from what I’ve seen of him it certainly seems likely. He stands at 6 foot 2 and has pace to burn and, as mentioned earlier, is as strong as an Ox. (Note: Cheick Tioté was once thought to be as strong as an Ox but it turns out he’s actually Hercules reborn as a professional footballer.)

His agent, Claudio Vigorelli, had this to say:

“At this time there is no possibility that Santon can join Roma because right now the aim is Newcastle.”

While not a compliment I pay out lightly, the Daily Mail has been correct with a fair chunk of their transfer rumours and given the comments made by the lad’s agent, it certainly seems like not only has a fee been agreed but the player and his agent are trying to force the move – and that’s just fine by us.

There’s no doubt about it, Santon would be a great acquisition for us but somebody is going to have to step aside and I have a sneaking suspicion it isn’t going to be Ryan Taylor.

I’ll leave you with a video of when he was playing as a teenager in Inter’s first team.


NUFCBlog Author: Thump Some say his bones are black and white but that is yet to be medically proven. Currently writes for a few different publications and likes to assert his imaginary authority on nobody in particular. Beware: eats children. Thump has written 36 articles on this blog.

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41 Responses

  1. The Italian agent only means that he is talking with Newcastle at the moment. That leaves open the possibility he will talk with Roma, or someone else next. You can bet he will work to the last minute to get the best deal & just shrug his shoulders and wait for the next transfer window if it does not work out just yet. So keep your fingers crossed.

  2. Whilst the majority of fans would like to see Raylor move to RB, he will probably lose his starting place to Santon… that’s the way it is.

  3. I wouldn’t say that Italian defenders have a problem with “strength”.

    BeeGuy, as for his agent, he appears to have more than one, I’ve seen two speaking to the media about different clubs, which confuses matters. Of course, you have a point about the shoulder shrugging, walking away etc.

  4. Get him in at left back and move Raylor to right back. Hop we sign both Santon and a natural left back but i think we all know the chances of that happening stand at about 1%. Whatever happens, Simpson needs to be dropped, if only to let him know that he shouldn’t take his place for granted.

  5. looks a better winger than a full back and yes he is definatley right footed, i thougt we were supposed to be signing replacements for enrique and caroll??? this lad does look a player tho

  6. bit of Luck we get Santon and Pieters … Pieters can play centre back as well and with the Williamson injury our cover is very inexperienced with Kadar and Darrnell Shitu most senior

  7. Johnnygg says:
    August 29, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    “bit of Luck we get Santon and Pieters”

    A very big bit of luck JohnnyGG.

    Bearing in mind that Internazionale aren’t exactly an impoverished club, that there are two agents talking about him to the media, his age, his current contract at Inter, his undoubted abilty and the fact he’s worth a fair bit more than £5 million, this £5 million thing just doesn’t seem quite right somehow, though I may be wrong.

  8. Santon plus a proper LB like Pieters, plus we are also short a proper striker and at least one good centre half. Collo, Taylor, Willo, need one more.

  9. I wouldn’t say that Italian defenders have a problem with “strength”.

    It was more a thinly veiled joke regarding how easy the Italians go to ground then a comment about how weak they are.

    jam said:
    looks a better winger than a full back

    He’s a wing back, mate. Lest we forget that Enrique does the same thing and gets forward whenever he can and often tracked back just in time – basically what this lad does.

    Keep in mind he was probably 18 around the time that video was put together if not younger and he was holding off Ronaldo so well he actually got an honourary mention after the game by him! When somebody of Ronaldo’s quality praises you, you know you did a bloody good job.

  10. If he’s the only full-back we sign he has to play left-back.

    Tough on Raylor but he has to realise it was never going to be his shirt.

    Simpson’s done nothing wrong to deserve dropping.
    He hasn’t had the luxury of having a proper right-winger in front of him.
    Perhaps he’ll form a good partnership with Obertan.
    Both looked better against Fulham.

    Got to get Santon “over the line yet” and at a fee so the club can still “blow it’s own nose”.

    These southerners add so much to our culture we should be forever grateful …

  11. from that clip i don’t see what the fuss is about. doesn’t look out special. would rather get a striker in and peiters if there is a choice unless were getting all 3!!!! not a chance!

  12. If the striker isn’t a huge step up from Best & Ameobi what is the point?

    If HBA is going to be played as a second striker …

    Cisse from Frieburg or Sturridge, yes please.
    I don’t think Roux or Maiga are any better than what we already have.

  13. geoff777 says:
    August 29, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    “Simpson’s done nothing wrong to deserve dropping.
    He hasn’t had the luxury of having a proper right-winger in front of him.”

    He’s also had a prematurely born bairn in the RVI to worry about too.

  14. @workyticket

    Yes pleased little Skye is putting on weight and will soon be home with them if she isn’t already.
    Stressful times and the lad has defended well.

    In two seasons he’s had one bad game. Well not even a bad game , just a bad few minutes.

    People write about it the next week, others join in, and soon there’s a bandwagon of fans saying the guy’s a bad player.

    The internet’s great for catching Ashley & Pardew out with their lies and broken promises but it’s also bad for players confidence if they read the rubbish written about them.

  15. If we get him and i have my doubts about any news these days coming out NUFC I would play him atm in place of Simpson. Having watched the highlights v Fulham Simpson was no where near the 2 headers that Krul did brilliantly to save.
    I think Simmo needs competition and perhaps a rest after the new addition to his family.

  16. geoff777 says:

    “Stressful times and the lad has defended well. In two seasons he’s had one bad game. Well not even a bad game , just a bad few minutes.

    People write about it the next week, others join in, and soon there’s a bandwagon of fans saying the guy’s a bad player”

    I’m not anti Simmo geoff but he was caught ball watching twice on Sunday with the two headers (Sidwell and Murphy) which, fortunately for him, the Krul meister saved. I’d like to see him team up with Jonas on the right to see if they could forge a partnership along the lines of the two amigos now that we have genuine left sided midfielders ?

    However you’re right in that Lovenkrands gave him little support through not tracking back and supporting his forward runs.

    On the subject of Loven, I see Scott Dann is being offered for sale by Birmingham so how about a swap for Lovenkrands, Ranger and Smudger ? Oh and throw in Perch for good measure :)

  17. “However you’re right in that Lovenkrands gave him little support through not tracking back and supporting his forward runs”

    I know it was Obertan on the right just cant see why Loven is still here :).

  18. AndyMac says:
    August 29, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    “On the subject of Loven, I see Scott Dann is being offered for sale by Birmingham”

    They’ve sold or released more than a full team now Andy.

  19. WT says:

    “They’ve sold or released more than a full team now Andy”

    Yepper but CH still managed to get them through to the Europa League group stages, god bless him :).

    Now howzabout taking some of our best players Chrissy ?

  20. off a tangent slightly but anyone know a good highlights website to watch the 8-2 game arse manu , without going to reds blogg ??

  21. Monkeysan,
    well ssn are reporting that Santon is ‘in talks’ with us.

    But i tend to stay out of the speculation game, it drives me mental just watching people driving themselves mental during the transfer window.
    It’s a recipe for total radgyness mate.
    ;)

  22. this sounds too good to be true, but we really do need some one else in @ LB simply because we don’t have really anything in the way of cover. We at least have some options up front. Not many ideal ones, but at least we have options there. LB seems much thinner. Would love to have a proper LB in, Raylor can deputize on both sides of defense or further up the pitch, though we have so many midfielders now that may not be likely. I’ll be happy to get one more body in the door. If we get two, well chuffed. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if we got nobody. At least the waiting is almost over… how does that Tom Petty song go? :D

  23. Andy,
    excellent point about the 2 horse town that is spanish football.
    A lot like scotland.

    barca are the the glory hunters glory hole.

    ;)

  24. @Clint – if we had £1 for every player who had “talked” to us so far, we might be able to afford to “buy” one of them lol

  25. CLiNT FLiCK says:
    August 29, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    “Andy,
    excellent point about the 2 horse town that is spanish football.
    A lot like scotland.”

    Clint, I used to gan and watch Valencia at the Mestalla, still follow them a bit and despite their financial woes and selling top, top players like David Villa to the enemy, thry’re still a canny side are in the Champion’s League. Equal second with Barcelona ATM.

    There’s Villareal, the small town minnows who punch well above their weight, Sevilla and Athletico Madrid who have both had Euro glory in recent years and so on. It’s a very tough league but Barcelona just make other teams look shite. Look at what they did to England’s best team.

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