Arguably the least heralded of Newcastle’s summer signings, Rodrigo Vilca could be the next break-out star to emerge in the Premier League.
The 21-year-old arrived earlier this week at St James’ Park for an undisclosed fee, penning a four-year deal with the Magpies. Despite the club revealing that he will initially be joining up with the U23s side, Steve Bruce should seriously consider unleashing him in the senior side.
Newcastle only have to look at fellow Premier League side Arsenal to see the kind of rich rewards they could gain by giving a South American young talent the chance to shine early on.
The Gunners brought in Gabriel Martinelli from Brazilian outfit Ituano in the summer of 2019, and watched him develop into one of the top-flight’s most exciting youngsters, scoring ten goals in 26 appearances across all competitions and netting against the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool.
Vilca has followed a similar path in the sense that he has arrived at Newcastle from Peruvian side Deportivo Municipal, and like Martinelli, is comfortable playing on either flank or more centrally.
Speaking at the announcement of his signing, Chris Hogg, Newcastle United’s lead player development coach for the U23s, said: “We’re delighted to have Rodrigo here. He’s an exciting attacking player, and we’ll be hoping to see that attacking ability. We’ll be looking to give him the opportunity to improve with us and be a part of Newcastle United’s future.”
What you can sometimes get from young players starting at a new club, is a sense of fearlessness. Of course, it can go completely the other way and they may not be ready for the bright lights, but the Magpies stand to gain massively if Vilca flies rather than fails. The 21-year-old may rise to the occasion and give his teammates a lift, and give fans watching at home a new hero to rally around,
It would also bring a breath of fresh air to Bruce’s team, and given the struggles endured by Vilca’s new South American teammate Miguel Almiron, may even force him out of first-team contention too. The Paraguayan has struggled to deliver consistent end product for Newcastle, managing just nine goals and five assists in 58 games.
Vilca’s inclusion into the senior set-up could give Almiron the proverbial kick up the back-side and get him to perform better, or simply watch him fade away. Whatever the case, throwing the new signing into the deep end could see the Magpies have a young player take the Premier League by storm this season.
The post Steve Bruce can find Newcastle’s own Gabriel Martinelli in Rodrigo Vilca first appeared on FootballFanCast.com.