In Part Three of this series, I described Jamie Cumming’s career at Chelsea and discussed his future in football. For those who haven’t read the intro piece in this series, a different player will be the subject of a new article every day. I started with goalkeepers and am currently working your way up the pitch, with each group of positions sorted in order of appearance on the pitch. the club website.
As I continue with the Loan Army series, I begin the deep dive into defensive loans with Juan Castillo. Castillo might be a name a lot of Blues fans aren’t familiar with and it’s not just because he’s incredibly young. The Dutch defender hasn’t been at the club as long as the trio I have already profiled in this series. No worries though, we’ll cover all the bases and go into the details of his young career.
What does Juan Castillo’s career look like at Chelsea?
More than Chelsea FC Loan Watch
As mentioned above, Castillo’s career in blue has been brief. Born in Amsterdam in January 2000, the Dutch footballer spent his youth bouncing back in clubs in the Netherlands. Castillo started his career with AVV Zeeburgia in his hometown before the Dutch capital giants reclaimed him in 2009. Castillo played for Ajax academy for the next seven years across the field as a youngster. Ajax captain before packing and completing his transfer. at Chelsea in 2016.
Castillo then played for Blues academy teams for three years where he played as a winger, midfielder, winger and left-back – where he now plays. He started his career at Chelsea as an Under-18 member. Castillo joined the starting lineup for the Blues for the 2016/17 campaign, ultimately helping his club win the Youth Cup and Premier League U18 titles. This has earned the young left-back an occasional spot in the development. His progress catapulted him into the U19s in the 2017/18 season where he started every game except one in the UEFA Youth League. The Blues were finalists.
Castillo stayed with that group for the following season, this time playing an even more crucial role. His goal against Montpellier in the round of 16 helped Les Bleus progress and ultimately clinched a second consecutive Youth League finalist title. Castillo’s stellar game saw him sign a new contract with the club in August 2019, which was a professional deal. His new deal marked the start of the next stage in his career, which coincidentally saw him return to his hometown.
Following the inking of his new contract, Castillo left the Chelsea development team for Ajax’s Under-21s. He spent 10 months in the Dutch capital, helping his former employers to finish fourth in the Dutch Second Division. The left-back’s mature performances caught the attention – to anyone’s surprise – from other Eredivisie teams. Castillo was then brought back to Amsterdam, this time to AZ Alkmaar, around the COVID-delayed summer window deadline of 2020. He had little success in his time with Alkmaar, however, largely due to their triumphs in Eredivisie. Castillo has been relegated to the Under-21 side for most of the season, but managed to make a replacement appearance for the third place team in the Dutch elite.
Due to its stalled development, Castillo’s parents’ club reminded him during the winter transfer window. The Blues had no shortage of suitors, but ended up settling on ADO Den Haag as their next destination. Castillo joined de Ooievaars on a six-month loan and has sought to help them out of the relegation zone. Unfortunately, Den Haag’s time in the Eredivisie is running out; nevertheless, Castillo has gained a good professional experience from his time with the club. He helped keep two sheets clean and played over 750 minutes in the league.
This begs the question: what is Chelsea doing with Castillo this summer?
Still just 21 years old, Castillo has a bright future ahead of him. His job versatility will serve him well throughout his career. Unfortunately, this career probably doesn’t involve Chelsea much. Castillo is the perfect candidate for the casual player who gets stuck in the endless cycle of loans away from the Blues, never quite settling in one place. Therefore, a permanent move elsewhere would be in his best interest.
Chelsea are located in the left-back department for the foreseeable future after a major summer move for Ben Chilwell. Behind Chilwell in the long-term pecking order is Castillo’s compatriot Ian Maatsen. Maatsen is younger and more experienced than the subject of this article (more on him in a few days). For these reasons, Castillo is expected to be sold for a profit before he can trade for free with other clubs in eight months.
Don’t forget to come back with The pride of London every day as I dive into the largely unexplored world of Chelsea’s famous loaner army. The subject of Part Five is Defender Trevoh Chalobah.