Newcastle United new boy Rodrigo Vilca reveals the gap he needs to bridge to make it in English football after deadline day transfer
Rodrigo Vilca is under no illusions that he faces a challenge to ‘make it’ in English football following his deadline day transfer to Newcastle United.
The 21-year-old penned a four-year deal at St James’s Park before the close of the international transfer window – and following a precautionary two-week coronavirus quarantine, will join up with the club’s under-23 squad to be assessed.
Vilca knows swapping the Peruvian top flight for football in England is massive step – but he’s revealed he’s up for the battle at United.
"I'm conscious that there's a big gap between Peruvian football and English football, so in the first phase I want to consolidate and take advantage of the training ground, and the professionalism of Newcastle's staff, to try to close that gap as soon as possible,” said Vilca, speaking to nufc.co.uk.
"After that, I hope to contribute to the team's objectives as soon as possible. But in the short term, (my aim) is to improve physically and adapt quickly to try to play as fast as possible."
Vilca, a £200,000 signing from Deportivo Municipal, could become the first Peruvian native to play for United since former hero Nolberto Solano.
For now, though, he’s got his eyes firmly fixed on settling in. What happens after that – the player is reportedly being lined up for a European loan move in January – will have to wait.
"Since I have arrived, I have received a warm welcome," he said.
"I'm very happy. I know a lot of information about the club because it is a club that, for sure, receives a lot of exposure in Peru. I know about the club, I know it's a historic club, so that made it easier to take the decision.
"I'm very happy to be here, and now I'm willing to prove myself immediately and make this opportunity a successful one."
On his preferred position, Vilca added: “I like to play the ball, I like carrying the ball. I consider myself a good professional and I have a hard work ethic.
"I play as an attacking midfielder, in the middle as a number ten, or as a winger on both sides. I like to attack and play free.”