A lot more reports are coming out of Italy calciomercato.com & forzaitalianfootball.com that long term admirers AC Milan are finally going to step up their pursuit of Davide Santon and make a concrete offer this transfer window. They have been tracking Santon for over a year now and since he has recovered from his long term injury which has meant he hasn't kicked a ball in the Premier League yet, they will make their move with a slight incentive thrown in.
Newcastle have been tracking someone of their own this season in the shape of Milan winger M'Baye Niang, who's contract is up at the end of the season, and have been willing to bring him in on loan. Milan are not keen on doing so and wish to off load him for a fee now before losing him for nothing in the summer. Given the fact both clubs are after one of each others players, 2 + 2 = around 10 million Euros with Niang in part exchange.
Mike Ashley doesn't let players go for cheap. When we signed Santon from Inter for £5million it was an investment as much as bringing in (what we thought) was a top full back. Santon has flattered to deceive in a Newcastle shirt and has made such quotes like he is 'the next Maldini' a little wide of the mark. In fact he has looked like the next Alessandro Pistone on more than one occasion. Given his age, the club will be looking for a 8 figure sum if they were to part with the (still) young Italian and if Milan want him then they must put up the cash.
To save a few bob they will throw Niang into the mix who is worth around £2million given his 5 months left on his contract, so we would be looking at a deal of around the £8million mark plus Niang which to be honest would be a good deal for Newcastle. If Santon then goes on to improve with playing in his native league at a club like Milan, then it could be a good deal for Milan also. For our sake I just hope Niang turns into a real talent and not a big tantrum waiting to happen...if you were to believe the hype.
I wont be that sorry to see Santon go as he has never convinced me as a full back. In my opinion he has never been a full back. There is one fundamental flaw to his game which will never make him into one of Europe's best and that is his lack of positional sense. If a full back needs one thing it's knowing where he is on the pitch, especially in line with his centre back. Not only does he show complete lack of this quality but he shows lack of any understanding of where his opposing winger is. Not exactly a great combination to have if you want to be a top full back. Where am I and where is he?
He has the stamina and running power with the ball to be a midfielder of some description or at the very least a wing back in a 3-5-2 system. Something I highly doubt Newcastle Utd will ever adopt. In Italy he has a chance of this however. A formation Serie A has made its own over the past few years and one Santon may flourish.
I wish Santon luck if he were to go and hope a manager plays him and trains him to his full potential.
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