Vilca: "I feel I have taken the right decision"
Written by Dan King
Rodrigo Vilca looked out onto the River Tyne from his hotel room window as he gave his first interview as a Newcastle United player and admitted that he will have several bridges to cross before he establishes himself in the first team set-up at St. James' Park.
But the Peruvian youngster is determined to do exactly that after signing a four-year contract with the Magpies on Monday afternoon.
Vilca, 21, will initially join up with the Magpies' under-23 side despite scoring twice in ten appearances in the Peruvian Primera División this season.
However, he has set his sights on eventually becoming a Premier League player, as well as breaking into the Peru national team, after United agreed an undisclosed fee with Deportivo Municipal - nicknamed La Academia (The Academy) - to secure his services.
"Since I have arrived, I have received a warm welcome," Vilca told nufc.co.uk after undergoing his medical. "I feel very comfortable and I feel I have taken the right decision. It is everything that I expected.
"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."
Vilca, who hails from Callao, has also lived in Spain, meaning he holds a Spanish passport. He is already on the radar of the Peru national team, and has trained under coach Ricardo Gareca.
"I like to play the ball, I like carrying the ball," he explained. "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 also played for some time as what we call a number six, (a defensive, box-to-box midfielder) but mostly I like to attack and play free.
"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.
"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."
"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."