Juan Familia Castillo Scout Report
Ever since the advent of youtube, football has never been the same. While it gives fans the opportunity to watch highlights of matches that they couldn’t see, it also gives parents of young kids a platform to put a video of their kid playing football. “Wonder kids” in football are a dime a dozen, and for every Lionel Messi, you have a Kerlon. The latest youngster who looks to have the world at his feet is Juan Familia Castillo. The 14-year-old who is currently moving his way through the Ajax youth academy has caught the interest of Manchester United. So who is he? Why are the Red Devils interested in getting him into their youth academy? What will he bring to the club? For all this and more just read on.
Born on January 2000, Juan Familia Castillo joined the famed Ajax youth academy and has quickly risen through the ranks. The forward’s rapid rise for the club has coincided with his debut for the junior national side as well. He is already playing for the Netherlands U-15 squad and many expect him to be on the fringes of the U-18 before too long.
Style of Play
If there is one thing that is immediately evident from Castillo’s play, it is his confidence on the ball. Although primarily stationed on the left flank for the Ajax U-14 side, the young forward’s deadly accuracy in front of goal means that he is equally effective, when employed as a striker. The 14-year-old is very direct in his approach to the game, his penchant for running at defenders and either providing a final ball or finishing is a very good example of that. In essence, he has the makings of a winger who full backs hate to face as he has not only the pace to get behind, but also the presence of mind to either pass or take a shot if the opportunity presents itself.
Football is a sport where age seldom matters. So it isn’t a surprise to not that Castillo’s biggest strength is his footballing brain. While it is true that he has the tricks and the pace to get in behind full backs, what separates him from many other players is his ability to use the ball well, a trait he shares with many other ex-members of the Ajax academy. Another of his strengths is his composure in the box. Even experienced professionals sometimes lose their cool in the box and smash their shots too hard, when placement would have been the better option, but Castillo has already shown his predatory instincts in the box and is in that sense, very similar to another youngster in the United ranks, James Wilson.
When it comes to young kids who are thrust into the limelight, the biggest question is whether they can put the attention to one side and concentrate on the football. Far too often young kids who are tipped for greatness losing their way, because they don’t quite have what it takes to survive in the highest level. Only time will tell if the 14-year-old has what it takes to succeed.
Having already signed a Ajax academy graduate in Timothy Fosu Mensah, the Red Devils are keen on adding to their Dutch contingent. In many aspects, United’s position here is relatively straightforward. Castillo represents a gamble that many top clubs now take. If the 14-year-old develops into a regular in the first-team, then they have a solid return on their investment, but if they don’t, then they don’t lost anything as they can simply move him on. Given Van Gaal’s propensity for giving youngsters a chance, a move to United might just be what Juan Familia Castillo needs to enhance his already growing reputation.
Juan Familia Castillo scout video