Santon eager for Cabaye clash

Newcastle defender Davide Santon is relishing the chance to line up against club-mate Yohan Cabaye after winning a recall to the senior international stage.

Yohan Cabaye, Davide Santon, Newcastle

The 21-year-old is in line to pick up his first Italy cap for 20 months when Cesare Prandelli's men face France in a friendly in Parma on Wednesday evening.

Santon, who made his senior debut for his country as an 18-year-old, has not played for his country since a 2-0 win in Ukraine in March last year and more recently, has had to make do with recognition at Under-21 level.

However, his form for the Magpies has elevated him back on to the big stage.

He told the club's official website, www.nufc.co.uk: "I am so happy because it has been a really long time since I was in the senior international team.

"It will be really nice, especially if I play against my friend Yohan.

"Even though it is a friendly, we want to win and I am excited for the match and to see all my friends from Italy.

"But I want to come back from the game and then get a win for Newcastle against Swansea.

"My team is Newcastle and I want to win games here first of all. If we are winning and I am playing well, then I will hopefully continue to make the Italy squad."

Santon's hopes of going head to head with Cabaye could depend upon the Frenchman's fitness after he emerged from Sunday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat by West Ham with a stomach muscle injury.

The midfielder has been a big hit on Tyneside since his arrival for a bargain £4.8million during the summer of 2011, and the Magpies fought long and hard in an ultimately vain bid to bring former Lille team-mate Mathieu Debuchy top the club 12 months later.

However, their interest in the 27-year-old, who is also in the France squad this week, is ongoing as they monitor his situation with the winter transfer window fast approaching.



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