If you’re a Newcastle fan who’s been sitting through games this season without giving into the urge of falling asleep or tearing your hair out, then fair play.
Make no mistake about it, the Magpies have been a bore to watch, almost too afraid to launch attacks in fear of getting a nosebleed. It’s no surprise that they rank bottom for both shots on goal and shots on target in the Premier League. That’s not to mention the fact they seem allergic to wanting to hold possession too, ranking third-worst in that.
Steve Bruce’s side are desperate for some excitement and energy to lift spirits, and even without fans being able to make their voices heard inside St James’ Park, the discontentment is growing immeasurably with each passing on-pitch disappointment.
The Newcastle boss however, could change the mood with a bold selection call. Namely, the introduction of summer signing Rodrigo Vilca.
The Peruvian arrived from Deportivo Municipal, and has been featuring for the Magpies’ U23s side, playing fives times. Speaking back when the club had confirmed his arrival, 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.”
It might be very early to bring him in, especially given that he has only played a handful of times for the reserves. But the first-team are absolutely crying out for someone to bring something new to the side, an unpredictability that gets fans off their sofas.
Capable of playing off the right or just behind the striker, Vilca can just help Bruce change things up a bit. The Magpies are aimlessly drifting at the moment, and the manager’s reluctance to freshen things up both in terms of personnel and tactics is holding them back. Unleashing their 21-year-old summer arrival could hold the key to fixing that.