Real Madrid have had a very busy summer as a club - with the first team having signed enough players to fill a four-seater stadium whilst shipping even more out, and the introduction of a women’s team for the first time. Surprisingly, or perhaps not so, it may actually be Castilla who have had to put in the most work this summer. Pre-season is usually a very manic time for the reserve side, who tend to have to replace a high number of departing prospects that have reached the end of their Castilla journey. This summer however it has been turned up another notch, with new manager Raúl being granted some unpredictable newcomers. This summer summary will be take you through: the new players, the outgoings, the friendlies lined up, the coaching staff, the league group and what is next for the team, all in good time! Up first...
The Coaching Staff
I’m going to be honest and say it: Raúl is the least exciting thing to happen to Castilla this summer. He could be a really great manager, but he could be equally terrible. We just do not know. Because of this and how it turned out last time, I find it very hard to climb aboard the hype train building around him. However, I do like his organisation so far. Signings came in early, as well as under-19s promotions - although there is still a lot to do. We will see! It’s worth noting that after a fantastic spell, Manolo Díaz was not interested in taking up the Castilla job full time, and returned to his initial role within the club.
The recruitment of a new assistant manager did make me very happy however. Alberto Garrido is one of the best coaches in the academy, and was assistant to Guti during the historic treble winning Juvenil A campaign. His promotion has been long awaited, and would have been absolutely perfect two years ago alongside Guti himself. The move is still a very good one for both Alberto, and the club though.
OFFICIAL: Real Madrid legend Raúl González will manage Real Madrid Castilla next season! Manolo Díaz will return to his previous role within the club. A huge thank you to Manolo for an excellent job on very short notice, and a massive welcome to @RaulGonzalez! #RealMadridCastilla pic.twitter.com/oA4bpHYYvi— Real Madrid Castilla Stats (@CastillaStats) June 20, 2019
The New Arrivals
It is very typical for Castilla to reinforce the majority of their depleted squad each summer with a fresh batch of talented Juvenil A (under-19) players that are ready to make the leap to professional football. This summer is no different in that respect, but many of the players to be promoted have yet to be announced for numerous reasons, including an international under-19 tournament with Spain postponing any involvement. There have also been some exciting signings made from other clubs. Let’s see which positions have been bolstered so far. An asterisk will appear beside a players name that may not make the Castilla squad this season.
Diego Altube (Juvenil A) - Diego made an abundance of first team squad’s last season directly from the under-19’s, so it is no surprise to see him promoted to Castilla. It looks like he may have to put up with being third choice this season, though.
Guillem Rodríguez Martínez (Horta) - 21 year old Guillem had a really good year at right-back with Horta in the fourth division. This led to Real Madrid’s interest and his eventual signing. Will more than likely be a back up feature for the coming season.
Javier Hernández (Juvenil A/Oviedo) - A player loaned out to Oviedo B last term but ended up being a starter for the first team. Javier has surprised everyone, including Zidane who has called him up to the first team’s pre-season tour. Expect Hernández to claim a starting spot this season.
Mario Gila* (Juvenil A) - This talented young centre-back has signed the Castilla forms, however I do not currently see any space for him in the squad. He may well be loaned out Javier Hernández style this season.
Takefusa Kubo (FC Tokyo) - This is a peculiar signing, but one that I secretly wanted to happen. Takefusa Kubo is earning a lot of attention around the world, and is already a senior international with Japan. He looks amazing, and could well be Castilla’s star man this season, preparing him for bigger things. Castilla should provide a good platform for him. He could be a superstar.
Fernando Guerrero* (Rayo Majadahonda) - The defensive midfielder has experience in the second division and is the perfect replacement for Jaume Grau on paper. However at the tender age of 17, he could easily be placed into the academy.
Miguel Baeza* (Juvenil A) - Another talent promoted from the under-19s. Miguel currently is also victim of a dense squad, but that could easily change. The attacking midfielder currently sits behind Fidalgo and Gelabert (and possibly Soro), so a loan deal maybe the best option for him.
Marvin Park* (Juvenil A) - One of my favourite academy players from last year. The exciting winger is a supreme ball carrier with an eye for goal. However, if Rodrygo were to hang around then he would be the fifth choice winger.
Rodrygo Goes* (Santos) - It looks like Rodrygo will follow in the footsteps of Vinícius and at least start the season with Castilla. He will become the most expensive B team player of all time, and his partnership with Kubo will be greeted with the pressure of expectation. Will be a very thrilling watch.
Rodrigo Rodrigues (Juvenil A) - One of the under-19s star performers last season. The Brazilian will have the chance to play in plenty of games, and if he can capitalise on this opportunity then expect a breakout year.
Pedro Ruiz (Juvenil A) - Another very highly rated academy player. Pedro has already played a handful of games for Castilla, and has looked ready to make the step up for some time.
There comes a time for every player to fly the nest. After a season full of over-achievement in 2018/19, it is satisfying to see so many top level moves for the class of 2019. This list will be expanded throughout the summer.
Luca Zidane (Racing Santander, LaLiga123) - The remains of the banter era finally come to a conclusion. Luca may have a hard time getting minutes ahead of club captain and trusty fan favourite Iván Crespo, but that is not our problem anymore.
Álex Martín (Leganés, La Liga*) - So far so good for Álex. He looks to have a space in the Leganés first team, which was an unthinkable move a few weeks ago. Whether or not he can keep that space and not drop down to the B team is another question. I’d love to see him have a run in La Liga.
Jaume Grau (Osasuna, La Liga) - Jaume was sold to Osasuna before immediately being loaned out to LaLiga123 side Lugo. He now has a clear path to the top level, and it is all in his hands.
Augusto Galván (CD Leonesa, Segunda B) - Another shock departure. Augusto was supposed to have a starting role in this seasons Castilla side, but he was forced to make way for two potential reasons. The first being the clubs attempts to dodge the European passport restrictions regarding Kubo, Rodrygo and Rodrigo. The second to perhaps allow a potential opening for Alberto Soro or someone else to come in. He could still have a progressive starting year in Segunda B with this move.
Jorge De Frutos (Real Valladolid, La Liga) - One of Castilla’s best players last season will now play in La Liga. I’m very excited to see how Jorge gets on.
Cristo González (Udinese, Serie A) - Castilla’s star player is now plying his trade in a top league, but not for a club that many would expect. Madrid hold a buy-back and a high sell on clause in case he is to do well.
Dani Gómez (Tenerife, LaLiga123) - The right move after a mixed time with Castilla. The very talented Gómez could easily make the second division his own next season.
Sergio Díaz (Cerro Porteño, Primera División) - It was always unlikely that Sergio was going to return to Castilla, but it would have been necessary for a young player who needs to start from scratch. In the end he returned home, which was probably the only better option for him. I really hope it works out for him.
This clan of players makes up the loanees and players that could not make the squad in previous years, but are still contracted and need moves. Pablo Margallo has already been sold to Leganés B after failing to make a single appearance for the club. Mink Peeters appears to be next after being snapped in the shirt of strong Serbian side Čukarički FK. However, something needs to materialise for Lin Liangming, Lusimi Quezada, Carlos Cobo, Echu, Álvaro Bravo, Alejandro Sotillos and quite a few more. This could be the section that needs the most attention from the club, in order to find the appropriate destinations for each player.
There is a hearsay what about Guangzhou R&F former winger Lin Liangming perhaps come back China next month，and his destination is Guangzhou，⚽— 深蓝宝石 (@shenlanbaoshi) June 25, 2019
So，Guangzhou Evergrande or Guangzhou R&F？
Wait and see... pic.twitter.com/0s4Tf7WbsQ
Castilla have eight fixtures to play out during the summer. The squad will be compressed and fined out more and more after each game.
- Wednesday 24/7: Gimnástica Segoviana - an away game. Expect this one to be a mess with all sorts of players involved.
- Saturday 27/7: Mirandés.
- Thursday 1/8: Pontevedra - A trophy is up for grabs during this one.
- Saturday 3/8: Lugo.
- Wednesday 7/8: Alcorcón - The only home fixture of the summer against LaLiga123 side Alcorcón.
- Saturday 10/8: Tenerife - Dani Gómez could play against his old side.
- Wednesday 14/8: Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa - The squad should basically be complete by this point, and we could see a line-up close to the real thing.
- Sunday 18/8: Burgos - A fitting last friendly before the season kicks off.
The League Group
It has been announced that Castilla will once again be in group I of Segunda División B this season. The group is very similar to last years, with the addition of some added B teams that have earned promotion from the fourth division. Fun fact: Castilla will actually be making an away trip to Africa this season... Melilla, the club that played the first team in the Copa Del Rey last season move into the group. The city is located on the north coast of Morocco. Relegated side Rayo Majadahonda also join the group. There are some tough games to play, but if Castilla continue to form such a strong squad, and they can hit it off during pre-season - then the season aim should be nothing less than making the play-offs again.
There are still six players that should be looking to leave Castilla this summer. Two that simply have to find moves away: Javier Sánchez and Jaime Seaone. Two that could find moves away: Álvaro Fidalgo and Dani Fernández. And finally two that really should find moves away: Javier Belman and Francisco Feuillassier. Rumour on the street suggest that Belman has signed a new contract with the club, which could either mean that he will leave in search of his next step towards a potential first team place - or that he will be Castilla’s first choice from now on.
Signings and further promotions from Juvenil A could come in the form of a goalkeeper, a left-back, one or two central midfielders, and perhaps a striker. It is unlikely that all of these roles will be filled, but expect Moha and Antonio Blanco to come into midfield from the under-19s. Young striker Pablo Rodríguez has also been training with the team. Attacking midfielder Alberto Soro from Zaragoza is the only player linked with Castilla at the moment. It’ll be interesting to see who is fielded in the first pre-season game against Gimnástica Segoviana. I have an ideal squad in my head, but the real finished product could look a lot different. Here is my hopeful starting line-up for the coming season. Take not that this team does not feature the entire squad I have in mind, and does not take into account new signings from other clubs:
This is the first part of what will be at least a two part insight into Castilla’s summer. There will be a piece that will be released after the final pre-season friendly, but there could be need for one in-between then and now. For now though, that is you all up to date with the goings on at Castilla. There is still a lot more that needs to happen, so be sure to keep up with my Twitter @CastillaStats ahead of the first friendly fixture this Wednesday. Who would you like to see Castilla sign or promote this summer? What do you think about the new management? Let me know your thoughts on the team in the comments section below, or on social media.