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HomeDStv PremiershipWhat Chiefs Can Expect From New Signing Castillo

What Chiefs Can Expect From New Signing Castillo

Kaizer Chiefs’ latest signing Edson Castillo arrives in South Africa today to team up with his new side for pre-season and iDiski Times takes a look at what fans can expect from the Venezuela international midfielder.

Castillo has long been linked with a move to Amakhosi, with the club initially turning down the chance to sign him last season before he signed a short-term deal with Monagas, where he featured in the Copa Libertadores with the 2017 league champions.

However, Chiefs came calling months later as his form continued over the past six months and it became apparent there would be a need for a midfielder of his ilk to bolster their starting line-up in the 2023/24 season.

Under new head coach Molefi Ntseki, the 29-year-old, who comes with the experience of the 2021 Copa America, is expected to play a major role at the base of the midfield, and we sought out insight from a Venezuelan football expert on what could be expected of the new Amakhosi signing.

“Edson Castillo is a player I really like, I think 2021, when he was part of a midfield three with Leonardo Flores as his partner at the base of the three and Jorge Echeverría more often than not as the 10, more often than not he was one of the strongest midfielders we’ve seen in Venezuelan football over the past five years,” Jordan Florit of FUTVE English tells iDiski Times.

“He’s a very complete midfielder, he certainly isn’t a [natural] 10, but what he’s added to his game, the older he got, is the ability to join the attack and add something, but I know he’s probably being brought in to Kaizer Chiefs as a six and that’s naturally his strongest skillset.

“He is a very capable box-to-box eight that became apparent particularly in 2021 when he added to Caracas attacks, Flores his partner was primarily the six that season but he’s best as a double six really, that is the role or formation that suits him best.

“More often than not he’d probably be better as the one more liberated but he can definitely hold that six role and liberate the other number six, he’s very experienced, a very level-headed guy – I interviewed him for the Copa 90 interview for Caracas FC around 18 months ago, he’s very professional, very switched on.

“He’s a guy with experience abroad too and in the past 12 to 20 months he had very concrete options to go to Asia and a decent level.”

With foreign players often needing time to settle in their new surroundings while getting to grip with a new culture and language, Florit feels his experience and the stage where he is in his personal life will perhaps count in his and Chiefs’ favour this season.

“I really think he will adapt well to the league, like I said he’s had foreign experiences, this isn’t his first, he’s played in Mexico and in Azerbaijan, including one UEFA Europa League campaign, I don’t think his age is a downside at all,” he added over Castillo who signed a two-year deal with an option to extend.

“He turned 29 recently, which isn’t old as a midfielder and it brings a lot of positives, maturity, a guy with a long-term partner and a kid, he’s got experience, he will be very professional on and off the field – I think he can add a lot to the team.

“This move has been a long time in the making and really I think it can be a fantastic thing, not only for Edson but also Chiefs as they perhaps enter a period of rebuilding, I think he can become a key part of that.”

Castillo has scored 22 goals with seven assists in 225 career appearances at club level since making his professional debut for Aragua FC in 2010.

Story by Lorenz Kohler (@Lorenz_KO).

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.