Inter moved quickly having seen Santon convince them that he was capable of steering clear of the treatment table and thriving in familiar surroundings.
Newcastle’s loss would appear to be their gain.
As Santon strutted his stuff in Serie A over the second half of the season, those he left behind went into freefall as St James’ Park saw manager Alan Pardew depart for Premier League rivals Crystal Palace and results on the field take a sudden turn for the worse.
Newcastle, with a threadbare squad – particularly at the back – fended off the threat of relegation by the skin of their teeth, but serious questions are being asked this summer.
Among them are, who comes in to join the ranks?
Steve McClaren has been appointed as manager, but considerable alterations are expected to the playing staff.
Bodies are badly needed in defence, an area where Santon’s versatility – as a man capable of operating on either side of the back four – would have come in very useful.
Newcastle, though, who recouped just £2.8million of the reported £5.3m they paid for the Italy international when offloading him back to Inter, are now having to scour the market once again and prepare themselves to dig deep into the coffers.
Trippier is reported to have a release clause in his contract of £3.5m, a very reasonable fee but one which Newcastle could have avoided paying for a player who doesn’t add too much to what they already had on their books in the not too distant past.
To compare Trippier with Santon is easy enough, with both 24 years of age.
Newcastle wound not, therefore, be parting with the old and bringing in the new. Santon is also considerably more experienced that his defensive counterpart and has graced the very top of the game – the Champions League and senior international stage – while drawing high praise from the likes of Marcello Lippi and Jose Mourinho.
Trippier, on the other hand, has one year of top-flight experience under his belt and two England U21 caps to his name.
He may have shown last season that he is capable of holding his own among English football’s elite, but Santon had hardly embarrassed himself at that level and was a player at a similar stage of his career that could have gone on to scale even greater heights if patience had been shown and his full potential had been given time to be unlocked.
The defender has backed his coach to turn things around and feels Yaya Toure would be a great addition for the Nerazzurri
Davide Santon has insisted that Roberto Mancini remains the right man for Inter irrespective of their relatively disappointing performances this campaign.
The 50-year-old replaced Walter Mazzarri as the man in charge at the Giuseppe Meazza side back in November, but he has so far been unable to turn things around with Inter sitting 10th in Serie A with seven games to go.
Nevertheless, Santon – who returned to the club in January after leaving San Siro in 2011 for Newcastle United – is confident Mancini can help Inter return to the top.
“Mancini is a lovely man. He talks to the players a lot and he’s won things wherever he’s been,” the full-back told SportMediaset.
“I think he’s the right man to take us forward.”
The Italy international also discussed the potential signing of Yaya Toure from Manchester City this summer and believes the Cote d’Ivoire international would be a fine addition for Inter.
“The coach and the club know what they’re doing in terms of transfers, we’ll see,” he added.
“I’ve played against Yaya Toure and when Manchester City won the title he scored a double at St James’ Park.
“He impressed me and he’s still a great player with pace and ability that can win games.”