Newcastle United wrapped up their 2020 autumn transfer window business with the capture of South American wunderkind Rodrigo Vilca for £250,000 from Deportivo Municipal. The 21 year-old starlet is on the brink of the Peru international squad having impressed in the Peruvian Primera Division as a dribbler, creator and scorer of goals:
Naturally, his move is being compared to that of fictional footballer Santiago Munez, who swapped football obscurity on the dusty pitches of Los Angeles for a chance in the big time time in The Premier League with Newcastle United after being scouted by chance by a former Newcastle star on holiday in The States:
Vilca himself likened his move to an unexpected dream suddenly coming true and, like Munez before him, looks forward to a successful Newcastle career:
"At the beginning, I could not believe the opportunity to jump directly from Peru to a Premier League club.
"The process had a lot of phases, with all this Covid disaster, so it has been a rollercoaster of emotions.
"I have cried with emotion, not once but several times, because there have been different milestones.
"At times I have been tense, but now I am very happy and I hope to have a long and successful time in Newcastle."
In Vilca's case, he comes highly recommended by Newcastle's former Peruvian midfield star, now assistant to Ricardo Gareca with the Peru national team, Nolberto Solano, who played 280 times for Newcastle over two spells scoring 37 goals as the first ever Peru-born player to play in The Premier League when he signed for Kenny Dalglish in 1998:
"He's been in training with the national side and he's very technically gifted.
"But he's still in the process of development.
"It's only in the last season that he played first-team football at Deportivo Municipal.
We are just keeping an eye on how he's doing, it is still early as he is yet to get an international cap.
"It is looking like a player with prospects with a project ahead of him.
"He needs to show development, it is not about five or 10 games it is about consistency.
"I was surprised but happy to see him linked with Newcastle.
"It's another Peruvian player who could one day play in the Premier League."
It's Newcastle's first deadline day signing since fellow South American Paraguayan winger Miguel Almiron signed for Rafa Benitez's Newcastle on January 31st 2019 and injected an electric new attacking dimension to a side best known for its defensive mettle although it took Almiron 27 games to get on the score sheet for his new club, finally scoring under new manager Steve Bruce:
Newcastle fans might have to be equally patient to see the full fruits of the signing of Rodrigo Vilca, whose move has been compared by The Journal's Mark Douglas to Ayoze Perez's 'diamond-in-the-rough' speculative move from Tenerife to Toon in 2014 initially for the U23 squad as Vilca will begin with yet make rapid strides and scored his first goal against Spurs then another against Liverpool to establish himself as a regular in The Premier League in his first season at St. James' Park.
Newcastle acted early in the transfer window to secure the signings of Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser, Jamal Lewis and Jeff Hendrick, all of whom have hit the ground running and made great starts to life as Newcastle players with goals, assists & clean sheets and Toon fans will be hoping Vilca joins them on the pitch as soon as he's ready to and be dancing the Samba round defenders at St. James' like Mirandinha, Solano and Tino Asprilla, the great South Americans who have paved the way for his life at The Magpies.