Neville played for Manchester United for 10 years during which time he won the Premier League six times, the FA Cup thrice and the Champions League on one occasion.
The 37-year-old, now a member of David Moyes' coaching staff at the Red Devils, was an unsung hero during his time at Old Trafford, despite being a versatile player who could play both in midfield and in defence.
Pardew believes that Newcastle's 23-year-old Santon is a similar type of player, given his ability to feature in central midfield, at left-back and at right-back.
"When I look at someone like Phil Neville, Santon could in my opinion be the Phil Neville of this football club," the Magpies boss told the Northern Echo.
"A kind of unsung hero, like Phil was at Man United. You look at when they won trophies, he was very important.
"The important thing is that Davide's got a long-term future at this club. He's still only young, and is gaining such experience.
"He can play right-back, left-back and now he has shown he can play central midfield, so you're looking at one very important player."