For most it the new season has already started, but for Castilla it is still fast approaching. It’s been another busy summer, with oncoming traffic both arriving and departing the team - and it is not done yet. It’s time take a look back at some of the friendly games and transfers, before making a few predictions and statements ahead of the new season.
Castilla played out six friendly fixtures during pre-season. Conquense (D, 1-1), Rayo Vallecano (L, 0-3), Logroñés (L, 1-3), Gimnástica Segoviana (D, 2-2), Numancia (W, 2-0) and Racing Santander (L, 1-3) all provided a strong fitness test this summer. Whilst results are the least important thing at stake, it has to be said that Castilla only managed to grab one good result all summer. Even more importantly, they were just so dull to watch. Nothing happened at all. Usually in pre-season there is a standout performer at least, but this has been Solari’s worst summer yet. That is saying something.
As usual, Juvenil A was Castilla’s first stop on the recruitment train, and some very good prospects were brought on-board. Sergio López became one of the first newbies, but not before he joined the first team on their summer training camp. Fran García, Gorka Zabarte and Adrián de la Fuente made up the rest of the defensive newcomers. In midfield, Martín Calderón was finally promoted to Castilla after making his debut two seasons ago. Augusto Galván and César Gelabert became perhaps the most promising academy recruits of the summer, with winger Alberto securing the final promotion spot.
It looks like Dani Fernández may finally get his chance. After having an excellent 15/16 season for Castilla, the right-back has been cast out on loan for the least two seasons.
Midfielder Álvaro Bravo returned from Fuenlabrada, but will surely be looking to find another move in order to get relevant playing time.
Mink Peeters was yet again let down by the club after being shunned away on loan again. A perfectly good space was and still is available, but the club decided Mink was not in need of the development or chance, by sending him out to Lleida Esportiu.
Other names to return before being sent away again include the likes of Lin Liangming who went back to Almería. Toni Segura moved to Las Palmas, whilst Javier Muñoz secured a transfer to Alavés. José Lazo switched to Getafe, whilst Garci joined Sporting Gijón. Finally but perhaps most significantly, Sergio Díaz joined Brazilian giants Corinthians in the next attempt to recover from his post Santiago Solari trauma.
Jorge De Frutos became the first signing of the summer, joining from promoted side Rayo Majadahonda. His numbers for a far better side were decent, and during pre-season he also looked pretty sharp. He could prove to be a very important player for Castilla this season.
Midfielder Pablo Margallo was signed from Diocesano, but immediately loaned out to Unión Adarve.
Castilla have only made one other signing since. Moroccan midfielder Ayoub Abou arrived from Getafe, after only joining them a month before. The former Barcelona academy man also played for Majadahonda last season after joining them from Porto.
Keep an eye out for any announcements regarding Vinícius Júnior or Andriy Lunin, who could potentially be playing some games for Castilla this season. It should be made clear what will happen to these youngsters in the next couple of weeks.
It finally became time for some of the Castilla veterans to leave this summer. Álvaro Tejero finally flew the nest to join up with former Castilla boss Luis Miguel Ramis at Albacete. Luismi Quezada also took his long awaited next step, joining Córdoba on loan.
Francisco Tena got released after spending last season in rehab at Valdebebas, and Arturo Molina returned to Levante after his loan spell expired. Surprisingly, Adrián Mancebo cut his time at Castilla short, opting to move to CyD Leonesa. Maybe the biggest exit of the summer was that of Óscar Rodríguez’s. He was loaned out to La Liga side Leganés after struggling with Castilla in Segunda División B last season.
Víctor Campuzano returned home to Espanyol, and is yet to be replaced. It looks like Jaime Sánchez has suffered another terrible injury, and will use Real Madrid’s facilities to recover this season much like Tena did last season.
It’s been a pretty poor summer of moves for Castilla. Whilst it’s good that some players finally got a move that they desperately needed, this has been overshadowed by premature or downright poor decisions made over some players. Mink Peeters and Óscar Rodríguez should never have been allowed to leave, but the most damaging decision of all was the choice to keep Santiago Solari at the helm. The worst Castilla manager of all time has been gifted a third straight season, and that means a third season in a row of no progression for most of the promising players. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was yet another relegation battle to deal with this season either.
Still To Come
There are still plenty of moves that should happen before the season starts. Coming in Moha Ramos should probably be promoted, and Castilla should look to bring in another goalkeeper, another left-back, a winger and a back up striker.
Going the other way, Luca Zidane should be released. Sergio Reguilón should consider himself unlucky if he doesn’t get a first team place after he completed a truly excellent pre-season with them. José León and Javier Sánchez should really be looking to test themselves and find a team in a better league. Jaime Sánchez should be actively looking for another club as he recovers from his latest injury setback, whilst 17/18 player of the season Jaime Seoane should definitely be playing higher. It seems there isn’t enough time to get all of these moves done and dusted, but do expect one or two players to get their move by the end of the transfer market.
It’s been a bad pre-season, but what more could be expected. There is a lot to be concerned about, as the squad has visibly been weakened further, and the recruitment drive up until this point hasn’t really been all that effective. In terms of predicting anything for the season, there isn’t much point. However, there definitely will be some more flirting with the relegation zone at some stage. Promotion will not happen this season, and as it stands I’d be happy enough with some entertaining football at least, but I know my wish won’t be granted in that respect. A lot of how exciting this season can potentially be lies in the coming decision over Lunin and Vinícius. If either of those two were to play for Castilla then it could change everything. Castilla’s season kicks off on Sunday against Las Palmas B, so be sure to tune into ManagingMadrid’s Twitter for the brand new way of updating live... Who are you looking forwards to seeing for Castilla this season?