Thought the Emanuele Giaccherini transfer came out of nowhere and was kind of random? You haven't seen anything yet: Napoli and Inter Milan have agreed to terms on a €5 million transfer for Davide Santon, who is expected to officially join Napoli in the next few days.
Il Mattino is the source of the reports, and while their record with Napoli in the past has been occasionally sketchy, they were first on the ball with the Giaccherini transfer that's now all but done. They're also reporting that Santon will sign a five-year, €1 million per season contract. It's a bizarre move for Napoli, but one that makes sense in a few different ways.
Santon, 25, was once considered the brightest and biggest fullback prospect in Italy. A move to Newcastle in 2011 worked out horribly, though, with injuries and lack of playing time seriously hampering his development. He showed glimpses of his promise over the last year and a half after returning to Inter, but also showed plenty of the form that left Newcastle fans frustrated. He's still young enough that he has a chance to become a good player, though, and in the meantime he should make for a solid backup.
Given that a backup right back behind Elseid Hysaj is badly needed, that makes this signing a decent idea for Napoli. Given that Christian Maggio is likely to leave this summer and is a shell of his former self anyways, that's a position of notable need for the club heading into a Champions League campaign. While Santon may not have the quality and pedigree of some of the other options they've pursued this summer, he's inexpensive and still a solid choice, and one who still has some upside to him.
It's a low-risk, high-reward move for Napoli, in the same vein as signing Giaccherini and other moves we've seen over the last few years. It's not sexy, but it helps the team and does nothing to keep them from making a sexy move later on in the window. It's hard to be upset with that.