Reports this week that Chelsea have completed the signing of another young player from abroad will have come as no surprise to anyone and cynics may argue that Juan Familia Castillo is yet another name to sign for the London club and most likely depart in a few years’ time having had little if any opportunity to feature for the first team.
However the Dutch Under 16 captain will be hopeful that he can buck the trend having reportedly turned down interest from Manchester United to join the London club.
Having turned 16 just last week clearly he hasn’t been signed for this season or even the next couple, but Castillo has all the ingredients to go far in the game and the fact that he has been made captain at youth level by club and country suggests he has his head in the right place, which is pivotal in the development of any youngster these days.
Exciting and eye-catching
Ajax have a reputation for developing football talent and the youth set-up at the Amsterdam club stands up to anyone in Europe when it comes to nurturing young players and ultimately producing footballers of real quality. Castillo has caught the eye throughout the age groups in either a central attacking midfield role or on the left wing.
He is an exciting player who likes to run with the ball and take on defenders and at youth level at least has proved extremely capable of both scoring and creating goals. Clearly there is an enormous gulf between doing that in the youth ranks of Dutch football to doing it the Premier League but the raw ingredients are there and if his signing is confirmed it will be a question of how Chelsea develop his talents.
Will he get a proper chance with the club?
Given players of the quality of Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku have come through the Chelsea youth set-up in recent years but have left without being given the chance to properly develop and cement themselves in the Chelsea first team, cynics will argue that Castillo and the rest of the youngsters who join the club every year have virtually no chance of making it at Stamford Bridge.
However with the Jose Mourinho era now over and the club struggling in the league while their former young players are flourishing elsewhere, a re-think in strategy is surely needed at Stamford Bridge.
If Juan Familia Castillo can perform well with the club’s youth teams and during the inevitable loan spells away from West London, then just maybe we will see him gracing the Premier League in the none too distant future.
Written by Mark Sochon
Follow Mark on Twitter @tikitakagol
Check out his brilliant blog on all things La Liga, Tiki-Taka-Gol!
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