Forgotten Newcastle United player on his 'ups and downs' ahead of potential transfer
Vilca joined the club from Peruvian side from Deportivo Municipal in October 2020 – but the 24-year-old is yet to make a first-team appearance.
The midfielder – who has had loan spells at Doncaster Rovers and Universitario – could be farmed out again before his four-year contract expires next year.
Reflecting on his time in England up to now, Vilca told onetwo: “Moving to England at a very young age was a great opportunity for me.
"Thank God I had my mother and brother living with me. That helped me a lot to be able to face the proposition of missing your family outside your country, and being homesick. In football terms, I have felt very good since arriving. It has been two years of ups and downs.”
United changed hands a year after Vilca’s arrival, and Eddie Howe has taken the team up to fifth in the Premier League.
“The club has changed a lot in every way, I'm very happy it’s turned out like that,” said Vilca, who scored in Saturday’s 3-1 Premier League 2 Division Two defeat to Nottingham Forest. “A club like this, having so much history, it's always important that the club moves forward.”
Vilca was also asked about the difference in fan culture between South America and England.
"The feeling in South America is different,” said Vilca. “We live differently. You’d be amazed if you saw how people really live over there. It’s something you can’t explain.
"Here in England, it's different, it's very different. But I have to say that the Newcastle fans are in love with their club – and the support is incredible. They’re also very respectful. That says a lot about them.”
Vilca also revealed that he has opened a barbershop in Spain with his brother. He said: "My brother’s a barber. He’s the one who always took care of my hairstyles.”
Meanwhile, Ben Dawson, United’s first-team development coach, addressed Vilca’s future earlier this year.
“With Rodrigo's situation, there’s probably more options with other countries, and obviously the (transfer) deadline’s a little bit different with him as well, so the situation with him is ongoing,” said Dawson.