Newcastle legend Peter Beardsley has backed summer acquisition Davide Santon to be a huge hit on Tyneside.

The Italian full-back signed from Inter Milan during the closing days of the transfer window and comes to St James' Park with a burgeoning reputation.

Santon was an unused substitute as Newcastle drew 0-0 with Queens Park Rangers on Monday, but was afforded an opportunity to prove his worth for the reserves a day later.

Newcastle's second string eased past Norwich - winning 6-0 - with Santon playing 70 minutes on Tuesday.

And Beardsley - Newcastle's reserve team manager - was sufficiently impressed by the exploits of the 20-year-old full-back.


"I was very impressed. He is obviously very comfortable and, it may be a bit too high praise at the moment, but he looked like a young (Paolo) Maldini," Beardsley told the official Newcastle website.

"He was calm in possession, played the right ball nine times out of ten - which is a good average - and he looked like he has class.

"He looked very comfortable and if he needed to step up a gear then he could have.

"He played for Italy Under 21s last week, so he wasn't desperate for a game, but he needed to know how we play as a Club. That was the idea and John Carver (assistant manager) was here to watch him."

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