Following his late loan move on deadline day, Doncaster boss Richie Wellens has been discussing what he’s made of Rodrigo Vilca following his first few weeks in South Yorkshire.
The Reds boss has praised his class on the ball, stating it’s already clear to see “he’s quality”, claiming he reminds him a lot of former Toon star Nolberto Solano.
Interestingly, he’s also been critical of the intensity of U23 games in the PL2 – suggesting it was imperative the 22-year-old had a taste of senior football in the EFL.
After coming on as a substitute in their 2-1 defeat to Wigan the weekend before last, he made his first league start on Saturday – impressing in a 1-0 win over Morecambe.
Here’s what he’s had to say when speaking about Vilca’s start to life in League One:
“Rodrigo has come from an under 23s set-up [at Newcastle] and I’m not having a go at that but the intensity of training and intensity of matches are nowhere near what is required as of today.
“He’s going to take a bit of catching up but I think you saw the talent that he’s got.
“I think you can see he’s quality.
“It’s just that final little bit.
“He receives the ball very well and he reminds me of a player that I actually played with from Peru called Nobby Solano.
“He’s a really cultured footballer, now it’s just about that last little bit.
“We have to sacrifice certain defensive stuff with him so when you play a player like that you need that assist, that goal or final product in the final third to negate the defensive stuff.”
It seems he’s got a few things to work on – particularly the step up to senior football from a physical point of view – but it’s high praise to be compared to South American compatriot Nobby Solano.
At 22, we’ll have to hope he can make the step up quickly and secure a Championship loan move over the second half of the 2021/22 season, with him no longer a young teenager who has time on his side.