Santon: I was not forced to join Inter

The full-back has made it clear that he is happy to be back at the club where he rose to prominence after a spell in England

Davide Santon has insisted that Newcastle United did not force him into a move back to Inter and denied that he initially turned down the chance to return to Serie A.

Inter confirmed the capture of Santon on an initial loan deal, with an option to make the deal permanent, on deadline day on Monday.

The transfer came after Santon’s girlfriend claimed via Twitter that Newcastle left the 24-year-old with no other option but to leave for Inter, while there were also rumours that Santon had initially rejected the Nerazzurri’s offer, but he has now used social media to clear the air.

“There has been a bit of confusion over the last few hours with people saying I first rejected Inter’s offer, then was forced to come here by Newcastle,” Santon wrote on Facebook.

“None of that is true. I never turned down Inter. As the negotiations all happened on deadline day, I just asked for a couple of hours to talk about it with my family and see what they thought…

“After talking to my girlfriend and my parents, all together we decided it would be a fantastic choice and therefore here I am ready to begin with my new number 21 jersey.”

Santon made 82 Premier League appearances time for Newcastle following his arrival from Inter in 2011.

Newcastle full-back Santon announces Inter return

The 24-year-old full-back has struggled for game time in 2014-15 and has posted a heartfelt statement on his Facebook page, confirming his move back to the Serie A club

Newcastle United full-back Davide Santon has confirmed he is joining Inter.

The Italian defender began his senior career at Inter, joining the club as a 14-year-old, but left to move to St James’ Park in 2011, with the Magpies paying around £5 million for his services.

Santon has slipped down the pecking order this season, however, and has made just one first-team appearance, in the 1-0 FA Cup loss to Leicester, and he has now revealed that he is heading back to Italy, posting a heartfelt message on his Facebook page.

“Life is strange… I never expected to return… Thanks Newcastle and thanks to all the fans for these 3 and a half years together… we’ve spent many good times…. This city and this team will always remain in my heart,” Santon wrote.

“I start a new adventure…. I’m happy to return to Inter… There I started my career and there I lived so many important moments…. I will give my best to repay the faith.”

Santon had also been linked with West Brom.

Official: Santon leaves Newcastle for Inter loan

The full-back has failed to make a single Premier League appearance this season and will now spend the remainder of the campaign in Serie A

Newcastle full-back Davide Santon has returned to former club Inter on loan for the remainder of the season, with the option to make the move permanent.

The France international found first-team opportunities limited this season, failing to feature in the Premier League with only only outing coming in the FA Cup third-round loss to Leicester City.

A club statement read: “Newcastle United can confirm that Davide Santon has joined Inter Milan on loan for the remainder of the 2014/15 campaign with an option to buy at the end of the season.

“The 24-year-old Italian defender joined the Magpies from the same club in August 2011.”

Santon had confirmed the move earlier on Monday, writing on his Facebook page: “Life is strange… I never expected to return.

“Thanks Newcastle and thanks to all the fans for these 3 and a half years together… we’ve spent many good times…. This city and this team will always remain in my heart.

“I start a new adventure…. I’m happy to return to Inter… There I started my career and there I lived so many important moments…. I will give my best to repay the faith.”

Rooney absence will aid Newcastle – Santon

The defender refused to suggest the Magpies can finish above Manchester United ahead of their clash on Saturday, but lauded on-loan striker Loic Remy for his form at St James’ Park

By Miles Chambers

Davide Santon believes that Newcastle United could thrive against a Manchester United side who are without Wayne Rooney.

The Magpies enjoyed a stellar November, which saw them record four wins out of four – including victories over Chelsea and Tottenham – but they were brought crashing down to earth by a 3-0 defeat at Swansea on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old thinks that the absence of Rooney could be a god send for Alan Pardew’s men and suggested that avoiding relegation remains their main concern, rather than finishing above the Red Devils.

“The one thing we have to do is we have to try to get 40 points as soon as possible as we have to make sure we are safe,” he told Goal at a promotional event for the Next Generation of EA SPORTS FIFA 14.

“I think we are in good shape at the moment, we have 23 points, but we have to keep going. Even if against Manchester United we get a bad result then we don’t have to put ourselves down.

“Man Utd are still a big, big team. At the moment we’re on top of them but just by one point – it will be a massive game because if we win the game we go four points above them.

“Fortunately [Wayne] Rooney’s suspended, so that’s good for us. [Robin] Van Persie at the moment is not having the greatest season like last season, but I think that he’s always a dangerous striker – when he has the chance he will score.”

Loic Remy has shone while on loan from QPR, scoring eight goals in the league, and Santon is thrilled with how the France international has equipped himself on Tyneside.

“I think Loic Remy has been one of the best players for us this season, he’s been really good,” Santon continued. “He’s only on loan from QPR, but he always gives 100 per cent and hopefully he’s going to score on Saturday again.”

Italy were drawn against England, Uruguay and Costa Rica in the World Cup 2014 draw on Friday and Santon – who has not been involved in recent Azzurri squads – hopes that he can propel himself back into Cesare Prandelli’s plans.

“I hope I can get there, but it depends on my performance and what I do on the pitch,” he added. “Of course, having a great season with Newcastle will help make the Italy squad.

“But even if it’s not a great season then it will depend on my performance and what the coach in Italy expects of me.

“So that’s the point – I just have to do as much as I can do and always try to get better and better and hopefully he will call me in the future.”

Premier League Team of the Week: Fraizer Campbell shines as Cardiff down Manchester City

Only one summer signing made it into our Premier League Team of the Week but more than one man makes the cut following a return to the top flight from the lower echelons of English football.

Cardiff City were undoubtedly the story of the second round of matches, their dramatic 3-2 toppling of many people’s favourites for the title, Manchester City, stealing the headlines while two men in particular distinguished themselves.

Fraizer Campbell, let go by Sunderland in January to help push Malky Mackay’s side over the Championship promotion line last season, made an explosive comeback to the top level with two decisive goals at Cardiff City Stadium, heading home twice from corners. His game consisted of so much more than the opportunistic finishes, however, as he harried a fine back line all afternoon and earned his standout 4.5 match rating – a sweet afternoon indeed for the former Manchester United man.

Though many of his Bluebirds team-mates have a case for inclusion in our XI, club-record signing Gary Medel (4) makes the grade. The Chilean is clearly settling into life in English football quickly, putting on a magnificent defensive display in midfield to marshal City’s creative forces.

Another promoted side to secure an important first win of the season were Hull City Tigers, who shut down the much-reinforced Norwich City forward line to bank three points. James Chester (3.5) made some key tackles at the back and the former Man Utd youngster represents Steve Bruce’s side in our team of the week.

The weekend’s action kicked off on Saturday lunchtime at Fulham, where Arsenal continued to fight back against their critics with a dominant performance. Santi Cazorla (4) provided the inspiration with a brilliant show in the playmaker role, displaying shooting intent and a killer pass for the third goal in a 3-1 win.

That third was scored by Lukas Podolski (4), who also demonstrated his predator’s instincts with the opener, both left-footed strikes. The German combined well with Olivier Giroud as he shook off talk of a move to Schalke.

When it came to Monday night, there was less excitement on offer as Manchester United and Chelsea ground out a 0-0 draw but Nemanja Vidic (3.5) at least had a game of which to be proud. Though the Blues did not field any of their most prominent strikers from the off, the Serbian dealt astutely with the pace of Andre Schurrle and did more than most to ensure no chances of note for Jose Mourinho’s men.

Behind Vidic in our XI is goalkeeper Keiren Westwood (4). Looking to secure his No.1 status after Simon Mignolet’s summer departure to Liverpool, the Sunderland man made a star of himself with a series of fine saves against a Southampton side desperately trying to claw themselves back from an early goal. From the routine to the spectacular, Westwood was unfortunate not to come out of his performance a winner.

On the other side of the pitch, however, was an equally impressive figure in Southampton teenager James Ward-Prowse (4). Enjoying an attacking role on the right flank in the early stages of the season, the latest academy-grown Saints starlet was a constant threat with his deliveries and got his reward as he set up Jose Fonte’s equalising header with a free kick.

Though few attackers looked like breaking through in a dogged match at St James’ Park, Newcastle full-back Davide Santon (3.5) was the pick of the bunch in their 0-0 draw with West Ham. Offering the most forward instinct of arguably anyone in a Magpies shirt, the Italian continues to grow in stature on Tyneside.

Buoyed after a promising-but-in-vain loan spell at QPR last season, Andros Townsend (4) looks like having a greater influence at Tottenham this year and he showed his worth in a tight game against Swansea City. Brimming with confidence, the young winger was constantly running and shooting – and it was he who won the decisive penalty as Spurs kept up their winning start.

Finally, the forward line is completed by the only man who returns from our week-one TOTW, Liverpool star Daniel Sturridge (4). Flourishing in the continued absence of the banned Luis Suarez, the England international tested Aston Villa throughout and scored the difference-making goal with a classy finish after rounding Brad Guzan. The 100 per cent TOTW record is still on…