Chelsea have reportedly sealed a deal for Ajax prospect Juan Familia Castillo, who held talks with Manchester United in November and December and was thought to be on the verge of signing for the Red Devils.
According to the Daily Mail's Simon Jones, the midfielder celebrated his 16th birthday last week and has opted to move to west London, where he'll join Chelsea's vaunted youth setup that has found much success in the last couple of years.
The Academy team won last year's UEFA Youth League and its second consecutive FA Youth Cup, powered by top talents like Dominic Solanke and Charly Musonda. While few players have been able to graduate and made their mark on the senior side, the Blues are clearly doing something right with their youth setup.
Familia Castillo made a name for himself in Ajax's youth setup, one of the most respected in Europe, and he has grown into quite the prospect in the last few seasons. A versatile midfielder, he can play as a main creative force in the centre of the pitch or in an advanced role, where he scores goals himself. Here's a look at some of his highlights:
Ajax have struggled to keep hold of their top talents in the last few seasons, perhaps best illustrated when midfielder Ouasim Bouy left for Juventus in 2012. Familia Castillo's path to the Ajax starting XI is blocked by star talent Riechedly Bazoer, which makes the decision to move to England a little easier.
It won't be easy to break into the Chelsea senior squad, something stars like Musonda and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have tried for years, with limited success so far. But at the age of 16, Familia Castillo has plenty of time left to grow into his body and continue his development.
It may be some time before we hear from the youngster again, as he'll need some time to adapt to the British game and his new team-mates.
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