Fans have not seen the best of me yet, says Newcastle full-back Davide Santon

 

Newcastle full-back Davide Santon has promised there is more to come from him as he attempts to make his way in the Barclays Premier League.

The 21-year-old Italian has established himself as Alan Pardew's first-choice left-back and is likely to line up there once again at Everton tomorrow night.

However, Santon, who joined the club from Inter Milan last summer, admits he is still learning his trade in English football after a tough baptism last season.

He said: "Last season, the first few months were difficult for me because Serie A and the Premier League is totally different.

"But now I feel better on the pitch and more confident, so I am enjoying it.

"I want to help Newcastle keep improving, keep moving forward and be the best we can be.

"The fans have not seen the best of me yet though. I can still do more though - I can be much better - and I will improve while I am here."

Santon arrived on Tyneside having seen his stock fall alarmingly after a meteoric rise in his own country.

He broke into the Inter first team as a teenager and performed to such effect that then manager Jose Mourinho described him as "a phenomenon".

However, having been handed a senior international debut by Italy boss Marcello Lippi, he lost his club place to Cristian Chivu in the Inter side and when he did get his chance again, he was low on confidence.

It was under those circumstances that Pardew, who was looking for a left-back following Jose Enrique's protracted departure for Liverpool, persuaded him his future lay in England, although knowing it would take him time to adapt.

Indeed, the right-footed Ryan Taylor started last season playing in that position and did so so successfully that Santon had to remain patient as he attempted to force his way into the team.

He made his debut as a substitute in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham on October 16 and has been there or thereabouts ever since.

Santon said: "I am really enjoying it. I like Newcastle - I like the city and the people in it.

"The fans are brilliant, I like my team and I like the manager. Better than this is impossible!"

What could have been better, however, is the Magpies' start to the season, which has seen them take four points from the first nine on offer courtesy of a hard-fought victory over Spurs and a disappointing home draw with Aston Villa either side of a 2-0 defeat at Chelsea.

They have been far from at their fluent best with Pardew admitting some of his bigger names need to raise their games if they are to come close to matching or even bettering last season's top-five finish.

Injuries are currently severely hampering that process with keeper Tim Krul, skipper Fabricio Coloccini, fellow defenders Danny Simpson and Taylor and key midfielder Cheick Tiote all missing for the trip to Goodison Park, a ground at which they lost heavily on the final day of the last campaign.

Santon was in the starting line-up that day as strikes from Steven Pienaar, Nikica Jelavic and Johnny Heitinga made Tony Hibbert's late own goal irrelevant, and he knows they will have to be much better this time around if they are to emerge with anything to show for their efforts.

He said: "Last year we lost there, and so we know that Everton are a good team.

"But we will go to Everton not for a draw, not for a loss, but for a win. We will be positive."

PA

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions