Newcastle United: It's Time for Davide Santon to Replace Danny Simpson

David CurryCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2011

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13:  Danny Simpson of Newcastle United in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James' Park on August 13, 2011 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Davide Santon has had to wait patiently for an opportunity since arriving from Inter Milan in the summer. A knee injury and the sensational form of the current back four have kept Santon out of the starting line up.

Santon's cameo against Tottenham showed signs of what the Italian is capable of.

While both Ryan Taylor and Danny Simpson have performed admirably, Santon offers another level of ability—a touch of class that neither of the current first team fullbacks can produce.

Played out of position at left-back, Taylor would perhaps be the obvious candidate to make way for Santon from a purely footballing viewpoint. However, there were rumours in the summer that Simpson was set to join Aston Villa and now he has confirmed that he doesn't expect to be at Newcastle much longer.

With no new contract agreed and a transfer away from St James' Park in January a possibility, it would make sense to look at moving Ryan Taylor across to right-back. He is the only natural cover for the position while James Tavernier is on loan.

Taylor may not be a better right-back than Simpson, but it makes sense to keep a player who is at Newcastle for the long-term happy. Taylor's hard work, professional attitude and sublime free-kicks have been a great asset for Newcastle this season.

While neither player deserves to be dropped, Santon is simply too good to leave on the bench. Bringing him in at left-back and moving Taylor to right-back is in the best interests of the football club and will improve the starting line-up.

Hopefully Alan Pardew will give Santon a start against Wigan on Saturday; Simpson should be relegated to the subs bench.