Biography

 

Personal information:
Full name Davide Santon
Date of birth 2 January 1991
Place of birth Portomaggiore, Italy
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position  Full back
Club information:
Current club Newcastle United
Number 3

 
Internazionale

Santon joined Inter’s youth system at age 14 from Ravenna. He started out as a winger before moving into a defensive role. After helping the Primavera side win the 2006–07 Campionato Primavera and reaching the final play-off for a second consecutive season, he was called-up to join the first team for the 2008–09 pre-season training in South Tyrol and training sessions during the first half of the season.

José Mourinho first named Santon in the line up for a September Champions League game against Panathinaikos and the next three games but did not use him. On 21 January 2009, Santon made his debut in the Coppa Italia quarterfinal win against Roma, playing the entire match. Four days later, he made his Serie A debut in a 1–0 victory against Sampdoria. He made his European debut in the home draw with Manchester United, tasked with marking Cristiano Ronaldo. Santon garnered praise for his performance prompting Ronaldo to comment: . “I was impressed by Santon, he is a really interesting lad and a great footballer.”[4] Mourinho praised Santon for his personality and tactical versatility[5] and Santon was handed the starting role for the next game. He started 13 league games and made two substitute appearances, thus winning his first senior honour, the 2008–09 Serie A title.

He had also become subject of praise from former Italy head coach Marcello Lippi in 2009, who described Santon as “A predestined that reminds of a young Paolo Maldini.”[6]

Santon made his first appearance for Inter in the 2009–10 season against Parma on Matchday 3, and subsequently started the game against Cagliari the week after. He was out until the new year after sustaining a right knee lateral meniscus injury while on international duty.[7][8] He made his return in January as a substitute against Bari[9] and called back into the starting eleven for the injured Cristian Chivu. However, his return was short-lived as he injured[10] the same knee again after returning too soon from the previous injury and required surgery, thus sidelining him for another three to five weeks.

In 2010–11 season, as first Santon was an understudy of Chivu, but after Maicon’s injury[11] (and later Chivu), Santon returned to starting line-up in November (except the Milan derby and Champions League matchday 5). He then played twice as right wing-forward due to the injury crisis at Inter, the first one in a 5–2 win against Parma;[12] in that match the coach preferred Cordoba and Zanetti on both full back positions, which he also used in the Champions League against Twente.

Cesena loan

On 31 January 2011, the final day of the transfer window, Santon was sent out on loan to Cesena as part of the deal that saw Yuto Nagatomo join Internazionale in exchange.[13]

2011–12 season

Santon returned to Inter in summer 2011. Under new coach Gian Piero Gasperini, Santon often played as a wingback in 3–4–3 formation in the friendlies. However near the end of transfer window the club kept Davide Faraoni as backup wingback and sold Santon.

Newcastle United

On August 30, 2011, Santon signed for English club Newcastle United on a 5 year contract, for an undisclosed fee, believed to be £5.3m. He instantly struck a chord with the Toon Army when he cheekily confessed he’d “never seen a Mackem in Milan”. (Intimating that Newcastle United’s local rivals Sunderland, never qualify to play in European competitions) He made his Newcastle debut on 16 October 2011 as a second half substitute against Tottenham Hotspur. He went on to make his first league start for the club in December away to Norwich City, before making his full home debut the next week against Swansea City.

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