Exclusive: Peru reporter reveals all on Rodrigo Vilca – Strengths, weaknesses & exciting stats

In the early hours of Thursday morning, it emerged that Newcastle United were ‘on the brink’ of signing South American talent Rodrigo Vilca.

Both The Mail and The Chronicle’s Lee Ryder have confirmed that the 21-year-old should seal a £250,000 move to Tyneside and become our sixth summer signing, however the Deportivo Municipal star will arrive as an unknown quantity for the vast majority of Newcastle fans.

As a result, we’ve reached out to Telemundo Deportes reporter Diego Montalvan – a fellow Peruvian who knows more than most about the highly-rated playmaker.

Without further adieu, here’s what Montalvan told us ahead of Vilca’s proposed move to St James’ Park:

“Rodrigo Vilca is a 21-year-old attacking midfielder who is comfortable playing as a 10 or 8 or even as a LW. Lived in Spain for 8 years, his family moved when he was 3 and returned to Perú at 11, meaning he has a Spanish passport.

His strengths as a player is that he loves to be involved in the game, right in the middle of all the action. His passing percentage is at a 78.4% and the only reason it’s not higher is because as a 10 he tries breaking lines and passing through balls to his forwards and wingers. His dribbling is great and has been averaging close 3 successful dribbles per game. Because of him wanting to be involved in all the attacks he gets fouled a lot, averaging 3.57 fouls per game.

Another great thing about Vilca is that he’s not afraid to shoot, will always try a shot if he has an opening. Defensively he’s great at pressuring, averaging 4.33 steals off pressuring his opponents.

His weaknesses as a player is his physique, although he’s good at retaining the ball, he can be fouled out of a game. What I mean is, if an opponent keeps fouling him, he will not get into his game and will not offer the best he’s got.

From what I’ve heard is that Newcastle would pay £250,000 and he would be loaned out for this season. For the talent displayed, that price is a steal. I can totally understand him being loaned out to gain some experience and at the same time bulk up.

At 21, Vilca would be useful to Newcastle within one-two seasons. The physicality that is shown in the Premier League is not the same as Liga1 (Peruvian League) so I think a loan, to a club that will give him the minutes in the immediate future would benefit both parties.

At the moment, Vilca seems very confident when he’s playing and that is only growing as he was recently called up to Ricardo Gareca’s training camp for the Perú national side. He’s let it be known that now that he’s been called up, he doesn’t want to let that chance go.

As far as who can you compare him with, he himself has said that because of his characteristics he sees himself as a Christian Cueva for the Peruvian national team.

“He’s different to Newcastle United legend Nolberto Solano in a playing sense.

If you had to compare him to a Premier League player, I would say he resembles 2 players: for the amount of fouls he gets, you would have to say Jack Grealish and as another pure 10, you would have to say Miguel Almiron.

A brilliant assessment of the rarely seen South American who looks likely to become our latest summer signing.

Here’s a few clips of him in action:

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About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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