When Santon first arrived he was unique, here was a player who just glided down the left wing so smoothly. If you can imagine James Bond driving a Rolls-Royce, then you can picture Santon. The fact that he always cut inside with his right foot didn’t matter; watching Santon glide down that left wing was enough to make people cry with joy and appreciation.
So why has Santon’s career gone from such highs to despair. Well, it has often been forgotten that during Santon’s first season and a half at the club, he had Danny Simpson setting a bad example at right back. At this time, it was Simpson who was struggling to perform and getting all the stick from fans not Santon. Of course Santon was the better player of the two, but it could be argued that with Simpson being in the team it made Santon look better than he actually was.
Santon may have been performing better than his counterpart but he was not the complete package yet, as we would soon learn by the arrival of Debuchy. The Frenchman came with a big reputation of being a modern attacking and exciting full back. Nevertheless it took him while to settle in but once he did there was no turning back. Debuchy is now considered by some to be one of the leading full backs in the league. He is in a sense the perfect full back; possessing the experience to know when to make those forward runs but is always back when needed to carry out his job as a defender.
Seeing Debuchy play so well has put added pressure on Santon, but is it really fair to compare the two? After all at the age of 28, Debuchy is at the peak of his career. Santon however is still only 23 and has years left to improve on all facets of his game. Was Debuchy the player he is today when he was 23? No of course not.
This does not take away from the fact Santon’s form has been poor, so poor in fact that he lost his place to Paul Dummet. The Welshman retained his place in the first team with distinctly average performances. Though one thing worth mentioning is the fact that Dummet is 22, just a year younger that Santon.
With rumours flying around that Newcastle have put a £10 million price tag on Santon, could it be the case that Newcastle may sell Santon? With his recent spell of bad form it’s possible but I’d be surprised as Santon is still a very talented young player.