Forgotten 2020 signing returns to Newcastle United as next steps considered

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Many Newcastle United fans wouldn’t be mistaken for forgetting about Rodrigo Vilca.

Rodrigo Vilca has returned to Newcastle United following the end of his loan spell at Peruvian outfit Universitario de Deportes.

The Magpies paid a reported £225k to land the attacking midfielder from Deportivo Municipal in October 2020 but he’s swiftly become a forgotten man on Tyneside.

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Vilca spent the first half of last season on loan at Doncaster Rovers, where he scored two goals and registered three assists in 13 appearances, before joining Universitario in March.

The loan back to his native Peru certainly raised doubts over his Newcastle future, and noises from South America suggest the 23-year-old has struggled to impress.

What next? Well, Vilca still has two years left on the four-year deal when he arrived at St James’ Park.

Eddie Howe may want to take another look at Vilca to see if he has or hasn’t developed, although it’s more likely he’ll stick with Elliot Dickman’s under-23s.

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Newcastle United midfielder Rodrigo Vilca. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)Newcastle United midfielder Rodrigo Vilca. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)
Newcastle United midfielder Rodrigo Vilca. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

United have a decision to make on Vilca’s future, and the same applies to Santiago Munoz, whose one-year loan from Santos Laguna expires in the coming weeks.

There is an option to sign the forward permanently but Munoz’s time in England has been blighted by injuries. Currently, he is recovering from a groin problem that has kept him sidelined since August.

Speaking to NewcastleWorld last month, Dickman said: “Santi’s injured, he’s in the hands of the medical team. In terms of what the next stages are for Santi, I’ll be honest with you, I really don’t know. I’m sure once the decision has been made somebody will let people know.

“At this moment in time, the main focus is getting Santi fit and getting him back on the grass and getting him involved in games. We’ll see what happens.”

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