Santon with Inter in 2009
|Full name||Davide Santon|
|Date of birth||2 January 1991|
|Place of birth||Portomaggiore, Italy|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Full back|
|2011||→ Cesena (loan)||11||(0)|
|2015||→ Internazionale (loan)||9||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 January 2016.
Davide Santon (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdavide sanˈton]; born 2 January 1991) is an Italian professional footballer who plays for Italian club Internazionale and the Italy national team as a left back. He started his career as a right sided attacker or winger, later reverting to an attacking full back who can play on both sides, and is known for his pacy, energetic runs down the flank. Santon also possesses notable strength, as well as good dribbling technique and defensive awareness. His precocious displays for Inter and Italy in 2009 led his coaches at the time, José Mourinho and Marcello Lippi, to describe him as a "predestined player", also comparing him to legendary Italian left-backs such as Maldini and Facchetti. In 2010, he was included in the Don Balón list of the best young footballers in the world, born after 1989.
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 quarter-final 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." Mourinho praised Santon for his personality and tactical versatility 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.
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. He made his return in January as a substitute against Bari and was called back into the starting eleven to replace the injured Cristian Chivu. However, his return was short-lived as he injured the same knee again after returning too soon from the previous injury and required surgery, thus sidelining him for another three to five weeks.
During the 2010–11 season, Santon first served as an understudy to Chivu, but after Maicon's injury (and later Chivu), Santon returned to the starting line-up in November (except the Milan derby and Champions League matchday 5). He then played twice as a right wing-forward due to the injury crisis at Inter, the first one in a 5–2 win against Parma; in that match the coach preferred Córdoba and Zanetti in both full back positions, which he also used in the Champions League against Twente.
Santon returned to Inter in the summer. Under new coach Gian Piero Gasperini, Santon often played as a wingback in their 3–4–3 formation in the friendlies. However, near the end of the transfer window the club kept Davide Faraoni as backup wing-back and sold Santon.
On 30 August 2011, Santon signed for English club Newcastle United on a five-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 had "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. He set up Papiss Cissé's first brilliant goal in the Magpies' shock win at Chelsea in the 19th minute. Halfway through the 2012–13 season, Santon was the only Newcastle United player to have started every league game. In the 3–2 win over Chelsea on 2 February 2013, he assisted the first goal with a cross for Jonás Gutiérrez, and the winning goal scored by Moussa Sissoko. He scored his first goal for Newcastle on 17 March, an equaliser against Wigan Athletic.
Return to Internazionale
Davide Santon returned to Inter in the January transfer window on loan, with an obligation to buy in the summer. The loan was made permanent after Santon's contract at Newcastle was terminated.
Santon has played for Italy from U-16 level and made a goal-scoring debut on April 2007 in a 3–1 win over Slovenia. On 31 March 2009, he made his debut for the Italy U-21 squad in a friendly against the Netherlands, played at Parkstad Limburg Stadion, Kerkrade and ended in a 1–1 draw.
Santon made his debut with the senior Italian team aged 18, on 6 June 2009 in a friendly game against Northern Ireland played in Pisa. On the same night future Newcastle team mate Shane Ferguson made his debut as a sub for the visitors. He played the whole match and his solid performances earned him praise from his peers as well as coach Marcello Lippi. Lippi was impressed enough to name him in the roster for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, but Santon did not manage to make an appearance in the tournament. After some strong performances since signing for Newcastle United, Santon was recalled to the national team under manager Cesare Prandelli for the friendly against France in November 2012, however Santon did not come off the bench. He started the next game earning his eighth national cap in a 1–1 draw against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on 6 February 2013.
Santon is in a relationship with Chloe Sanderson. She gave birth to their daughter on 21 May 2013.
- As of 23 January 2016
|Club||Season||League||Cup [nb 1]||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
|Cesena (loan)||2010–11||Serie A||11||0||0||0||—||—||—||11||0|
|Newcastle United||2011–12||Premier League||24||0||2||0||1||0||—||—||27||0|
- As of 7 February 2013
|Italy national team|
- Inter Milan
- Serie A: 2008–09, 2009–10
- Coppa Italia: 2009–10
- UEFA Champions League: 2009–10
- Supercoppa Italiana: 2010
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2010
- "Premier League Clubs submit Squad Lists" (PDF). Premier League. 4 February 2014. p. 24. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
- Newcastle United Player Profile
- "Next Generation: Santon". Gazzetta Dello Sport. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
- "Lippi lancia Santon "È un predestinato"". Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- "Inter: Mourinho 'Santon e' il nuovo Facchetti'". Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- "Inter's Jose Mourinho: Davide Santon Is The New Paolo Maldini". Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- "Don Balon’s list of the 100 best young players in the world". thespoiler.co.uk. 2010-11-02. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
- "Primavera: Inter 2–3 Sampdoria". inter.it. 8 June 2008.
- "Santon: Unbelievable...". inter.it. 16 July 2008.
- Jackson, Jamie (8 March 2009). "Champions League: Santon revives Mourinho's faith in youth". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- "Ronaldo about Santon". Goal. 27 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-27.
- "Balotelli segua l'esempio Santon lavora e sta zitto" (in Italian). La Gazzetta dello Sport. 31 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-01.
- "Lippi: "Del Piero? Vediamo fra un anno e mezzo..."" (in Italian). Corriere dello Sport. 19 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
- "Santon set for spell on sidelines". UEFA. 18 November 2009.
- Santon fine after knee op
- "Santon: Feeling good now". inter.it. 16 January 2010.
- Stankovic back in full training
- "Serie A: Inter-Brescia 1–1". FC Internazionale Milano (inter.it). 6 November 2010. Retrieved 13 December 2010.
- "Inter-Parma: 5–2, Stankovic starts and finishes". FC Internazionale Milano (inter.it). 29 November 2010. Retrieved 13 December 2010.
- "Mercato: Yuto Nagatomo è dell'Inter". FC Internazionale Milano (in Italian) (inter.it). 31 January 2011. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
- "Inter defender Santon joins Newcastle". ESPN Soccernet. 30 August 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
- "Toon make breakthrough in full-back chase after agreeing deal for Santon". Daily Mail (London). 29 August 2011.
- "Davide Santon "I've never seen a Mackem in Milan"". Evening Chronicle. 31 August 2001. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
- Chowdhury, Saj (16 October 2011). "Newcastle 2 - 2 Tottenham". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- "Giovinco strikes to deny Dutch". UEFA. 31 March 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2009.
- Lippi puts his faith in Santon
- "Teenager Santon living the dream". UEFA. 8 June 2009.
- "Davide Santon Finding It Tough To Leave Home".
- Davide Santon profile at Soccerway
- Davide Santon at National-Football-Teams.com
- "D. Santon". Soccerway. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- Davide Santon – FIFA competition record
- Profile at the official Inter-homepage
- Unofficial fans website
- Profile at the official Newcastle United FC website
- Davide Santon career statistics at Soccerbase