Pardew is delighted with the Italian's form.
"Davide can play right back, left back and now he's shown he can play central midfield so you're looking at one very important player," said Pardew.
"When I think of someone like Phil Neville, in my opinion, he could be that player at this football club.
"A kind of unsung hero like Phil was at Manchester United. You look at when they won their trophies, he was very important."
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