When Spanish left back Jose Enrique ditched Newcastle United for Liverpool there was anger about his move and disappointment that the Magpies lost a very good player, but in Italian youngster Davide Santon, do Newcastle actually now have a better replacement?
Jose Enrique is a very good left back and had four good years with Newcastle after his move from Villarreal in 2007 for a fee of £6.3 million.
While Newcastle were relegated in one of those seasons, Enrique stuck with the Magpies and earned himself a place in the Championship Team of the Year and a Newcastle Player of the Year accolade in the same campaign.
Back in the Premier League he looked very accomplished, showing his deceptive turn of pace and great strength regularly, which was why it was such a disappointment when he left for Liverpool who were in a similar position to Newcastle at the time.
As Enrique left in the summer of 2011, Santon was brought in and being described as the next Paolo Maldini, a defensive rock was envisaged.
20 years old at the time, that’s not what we got, but while Davide may have been a little bit shaky at the back, going forward he showed plenty of menace and indicated how dangerous he could be cutting onto his left foot.
While we’re only a couple of weeks into this season Santon, seems to have matured greatly and has looked solid in defence, contributing to clean sheets in the two games he’s played, while looking like one of the players most likely to create something going forward.
The Italian still needs to add more goals and assists to his game, as a few more accomplished finishes like the one against Wigan last season wouldn’t go amiss, but he really seems to be developing his defensive skills, namely positioning.
Remember, he’s still only 22-year-old and has plenty of time to improve, but the man who’s never seen a Mackem in Milan and has settled down with a British girl and started a family looks like he could become a real asset for Newcastle.
As for Jose Enrique, he looks as solid as ever and even netted twice last season, so Liverpool fans must be happy with having one of the left backs in the league.
Jose Enrique vs Davide Santon – who would you rather have?