Davide Santon

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Reserve Team Coach Peter Beardsley was left purring over the performance of Davide Santon after the Italian defender's first 90 minutes in black and white.

Former Inter Milan left-back Santon came through unscathed in the 5-3 win over Swansea's second-string, and impressed with his forays upfield and calm defending.

That came two weeks after his first appearance for the Reserves against Norwich and Beardsley believes the 20-year-old is a shrewd acquisition by Alan Pardew. 

"I thought Santon was excellent," he told nufcTV.

"He very rarely gives the ball away, joins in well, he's two footed.

"When I look at him - and I don't want to put people's expectations too high - but when I look at (Paolo) Maldini, he plays the same way.

"He's obviously nowhere near that level yet but he reminds me very much of him, the way he wants to play, the way he wants to bomb forward, and to be fair to him he's quite happy to defend."

Santon's header from Sammy Ameobi's cross was forced home by Michael Richardson for the first goal at the Parc y Scarlets, while the Italian came close to scoring on a couple of occasions with long-range strikes.

Another feature of his performance was his clever footwork in tight positions, and Beardsley - who was noted for his quick feet during his playing days - said: "He's very clever. He's a good footballer, there's no doubt about it.

"To be a right-footed left-back, you've got to have confidence and he has.

"But he's two-footed, he's very two-footed. I'd say possibly his right's stronger, but overall I'd say he's very two-footed and I think the manager's made a good decision there to buy him." 

To see the full interview with Peter Beardsley, and highlights of Davide Santon's performance, click on the button below.