Juan Castillo leaving Chelsea to join Ajax on loan makes sense for both parties
As confirmed via Chelsea’s official website, Chelsea starlet Juan Castillo has joined defending Eredivisie champions Ajax on a season-long loan deal, with an option to buy included in the agreement between the two clubs.
Castillo spent seven years in the youth system at Ajax before completing a switch to Chelsea back in 2016 and the loan deal means that the 19-year-old returns to Amsterdam, the city of his birth, to help his former club in their domestic title defence.
The versatile left-sided wide player made 3 appearances for Chelsea’s U-23 development side in the Premier League 2 this season before leaving Stamford Bridge on loan for the first time since his move to West London three years back.
The teenager, who signed a new contract with the Blues a couple of months ago, has played most of his football thus far with the Blues’ youth and development sides.
Castillo was a part of the club’s U-19 side that reached the finals of the UEFA Youth League in each of the past two campaigns, whilst also accumulating a total of 40 appearances for the U-23 development side over the course of his time in the youth setup at Stamford Bridge.
Despite showing strong signs of promise at the youth level, the youngster was never close to making a breakthrough in the first-team at Chelsea and a loan move represents the next big step in his development curve.
However, the inclusion of a buy option in the deal could come back to haunt the Blues, given that Castillo is a really talented player with a mountain of potential and there is every chance that he might evolve into a future star.
Ajax’s stance on the youngster would probably depend on the kind of impact he manages to make over the course of the ongoing campaign.
Indeed, it is going to be a big jump for the 19-year-old as he prepares himself for his first taste of senior professional football but a return to familiar surroundings might work in favour of his development.
The Dutch outfit lost left-back Daley Sinkgraven to Bayer Leverkusen earlier in the summer and, while Nicolas Tagliafico remains the first-choice in that position, Castillo could get a look in for a back-up role if he manages to impress manager Erik ten Hag in training.
A youth international for The Netherlands, Castillo has represented the nation of his birth at all youth levels from U-16 to U-19, earning a total of 35 caps in the process.
Looking at things from the player’s perspective, the 19-year-old will be looking to test his credentials at the senior level for the first time in his career at Ajax this term and he might as well end up staying there permanently if the defending Eredivisie champions opt to trigger the buy option in the deal next summer.
Plus, the prospect of playing in the UEFA Champions League should also appeal to the teenager, given that the opportunity to showcase his talent on the European stage could possibly help him enhance his reputation as an emerging prospect.
Although academy stars like Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount have earned a chance to prove their worth in the Premier League this term under Frank Lampard, Chelsea’s handling of youngsters in recent times has been less than impressive, with a whole lot of promising starlets lost in the cold in the club’s infamous loan army.
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With that in mind, a loan move to Ajax with an option to make it permanent suits Juan Castillo perfectly and we all know that Chelsea are least bothered about the risk of letting promising young talents slip out of their hands.