It has been reported this week that Davide Santon is back to fitness and available for selection this Saturday.

The question is though, will the Italian full-back force his way back into the team?

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The case of Santon sums up our topsy turvy season with the Italian doing well in the early part of the season, only to see his form tail off in recent months.

davide santonWhile many fans were unsure of whether he deserved to stay in the team, Alan Pardew went in the other direction by stating how valuable he was to the team and actually promoting him to a position of much more responsibility away at Chelsea.

After the match the Newcastle manager claimed the move had been a big success, though Santon had looked badly at fault for the crucial opening goal.

The following match, despite having raved about his midfield display against the blues, Pardew returned him to the usual left-back slot against Spurs where he had a stinker, though he was hardly alone that night.

Santon was substituted at half-time against Tottenham and it later emerged the Italian had then quickly left the stadium and it was further claimed that Pardew had considered dragging him off actually during that first-half of the 4-0 drubbing.

Dummett has done ok at left-back but doesn’t look any kind of a long-term answer, so the question remains what Pardew does with Santon.

Just like Ben Arfa, leaving Santon on the sidelines while having players on the pitch in their positions who aren’t of the quality needed for next season, is surely far from ideal for the manager or the players, or indeed the fans.

Attempting to guess at who will still be here at Newcastle next season becomes harder by the day and more to the point, what kind of shape the overall squad will be in to compete next season.