clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The 2019-20 Real Madrid Castilla Season Review

New, comment

How did Raúl and his Castilla squad fare during the reduced 2019-20 season?

Real Madrid B v Pontevedra - Segunda Division B Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Whilst this season has been like no other due to its abrupt termination with ten games to go, in many ways it shared plenty of familiar characteristics with years prior. There remained relegation scares; albeit minute ones, weak results paired with mundane performances against unimpressive opposition, met with an ounce of promise towards the end. So what exactly was different? Raúl and his fresh set of players had the success of last season’s play-off reaching overachievers to live up to, and the initial promise of Rodrygo Goes and Takefusa Kubo joining the squad made it entirely realistic to replicate. In the end Raúl had to make do with neither player available, and found himself relying heavily on the academy and previous roster to shape up his squad after bringing in only on other player externally. After spending the bulk of the season trying to escape the relegation zone, they came within touching distance of the play-offs towards the end. However the global pandemic we currently experience meant that the season was cancelled, and only the teams currently occupying the promotion places would continue to decide who goes up to the second division for next season... Castilla finished in 7th place, five points off of the play-off spots. For this article I will be assessing each individual players season, as well as the manager, and scoring their efforts on a scale of 1-10. Take note that ratings are specific and are based on the player and the games that they played in. A player can have two amazing performances and earn a 10, but would not have had a better season than a player who played very well in 25 games to earn a 7 rating. Let’s get into it:

The Managers!

Raúl González

Games: 28

Wins: 10

Draws: 10

Losses: 8

Goal Difference: +7 (42F/35A)

When it was first announced that Raúl was going to take over at Castilla, the media were all over the story fantasising about future possibilities. His very small sample size of one year coaching within an academy setting raised concerns with those on the ground though. The fact that he had never actually coached one team for a season suggested that he was not ready for this step up, and the lacklustre summer and a huge chunk of the season backed up that unease. The results were inconsistent at best, and the majority of the season was spent sitting just above the relegation zone. Castilla won one game all season long away from home, and that was a 1-0 mid-week scrap against a fellow B team in Celta Vigo. The team struggled with their identity for a long time, but then things changed. Slowly the team progressed and started to establish a rhythm, and what fans began to see was very promising indeed. This rhythm would not only push them well away from the dreaded relegation zone, but it would spark some very faint promotion hopes. They play-offs were in sight, but with ten games to go the season was scrapped and Castilla were left in 7th place. If the season was to continue I think they would have finished around that position anyway, but 7th was a commendable finish for Raúl and his team. Plenty of stories came out about his strong man managements, and strict rules set out for the good of the team, and he often looks to have plenty of channelled passion on the touchline during games. I would have much preferred Manolo Díaz or another more appropriate candidate get the job, but Raúl has now proven himself ready and prepared for this job for next season. Unlike the conservative and sensible tactical approach that Manolo took with Castilla, Raúl’s side began to showcase something more exciting. There was a far more intense and quality structure to the team’s play, as Castilla looked to overpower the opposition with their technical superiority using attacking full-backs and inverted wingers. This certainly raised my eyebrows as I had not seen this approach since the Luis Miguel Ramis days, or the Alberto Toril days long before that. He was never able to fully enforce it this year, but if Raúl can successfully implement this idea from the start next season, then he could go on to be one of the most talented Castilla managers of recent times.

Castilla rating: 6.5/10.

The Players!

Javier Belman

Games: 16

Clean Sheets: 5

Man of the Match Awards: 0

It has become rather common for players to delay their departure from Castilla either through choice, the fact that they could not find a move away, or that they specifically were in the Castilla managers plans for the following season. Nine times out of ten this has a detrimental effect on the player. Star performer Javier Belman should have left last summer for a higher standard, but instead opted to sign a new deal with Real Madrid despite his severe lack of opportunities previously. Unsurprisingly, things did not go to plan. He had been near flawless for the entirety of his academy career, and the two seasons prior for Castilla. None of this excellent work resulted in a first team opportunity or even a consistent starting space for Castilla. That was after performing superbly week-in, week-out. This season his performance level dropped. He still played well and recorded the most clean-sheets out of any keeper, but he was just unable to live up to the immense standard that he had set throughout his Madrid career. One mistake in-particular in which he took a touch in a dangerous area that fell straight to an opposition attacker against Sporting Gijón B in a 4-2 loss was the worst piece of play I have seen from him. Now, he simply must move on. He will still play at a higher standard next season regardless, but at one point he would have been a good fit for a La Liga club. Now, he may have to settle for less...

Castilla rating: 6/10.

Diego Altube

Games: 12

Clean Sheets: 2

Man of the Match Awards: 1

After spending the summer training wih the first team, Diego was ‘awarded’ the very conspicuous shadow third goalkeeper position for the first team, which meant that he made an abundance of first team squads and got to regularly warm-up with the players on match day. Besides that, it meant that his availability for Castilla became uncertain. He still managed to make over ten appearances, earning a man of the match award for a really strong performance against Rayo Majadahonda for keeping them in the game. Whilst he did not earn massive amounts of applause for his efforts, he was comfortably the best goalkeeper at Castilla this season. He should be Castilla’s undisputed number one next season, and hopefully the first team can figure out a way to make sure that this third goalkeeper nonsense no longer gets in the way.

Castilla rating: 6.5/10.

Sergio López

Games: 13

Goals: 0

Assists: 2

Man of the Match Awards: 0

The very talented Sergio López had a great start to his professional career last season, and looked like he had that starting right-back spot secured for this season. The platform was there to take that responsibility and run with it, and a further improved season would open up doors at the top of the footballing world for him. For Sergio, it didn’t really work out like that. Whilst he did indeed begin the season firmly in the starting line-up, his performances began to stagnate - and new signing Guillem Rodríguez Martínez from the fourth division eventually took his spot and played more games. Video’s of manager Raúl constantly screaming at him from the sidelines will take a lifetime to forget, but they also highlight the insecurities that Raúl saw in Sergio that may have led to his season drying up. What’s next for Sergio? Time will tell, but his spell with Castilla may well be over. If he was to leave, then he’s good enough to immediately step up to the second division. Overall, he will be pretty disappointed with his progress this season.

Castilla rating: 6/10.

Guillem Rodríguez Martínez

Games: 16

Goals: 0

Assists: 4

Man of the Match Awards: 0

Initially, Guillem was the only signing that Raúl made for Castilla during the summer after losing Rodrygo Goes early on to the first team and Takefusa Kubo on loan. And this was a different type of signing. The right-back came in from fourth tier side UA Horta, and he’d be making a step up playing for Castilla in the third division. His first season went better than he could have imagined. He was faced with the challenge of overthrowing the talented Sergio López, and not only did he do that - playing the most games out of the two - but he also finished as the teams joint top assister, recording four. He provided more security than López defensively, and was clearly more effective going forward despite possessing less ability on the ball than his main competitor. It has gotten to the point in which now, I want him to not only stay for next season, but have that starting spot all to himself. If he can do what Sergio could not, and claim that responsibility whilst stepping up the performances, then Guillem could be yet another, albeit different type of success story for Castilla to boast about.

Castilla rating: 6.5/10.

Mario Gila

Games: 21

Goals: 1

Assists: 2

Man of the Match Awards: 2

Not much has been said about Mario Gila’s first season at Castilla. This could perhaps have been down to his fellow centre-back Javier Hernández often stealing the limelight amongst others, or the fact that not many people will have him in mind as a future first team player. Either way, his season has been superb. Nearly every single performance consisted of the quality you would expect from a Real Madrid player, and this was all in his first professional season. He’s such an intelligent player, and although his two assists came from distinctive attacking efforts, his passes to find both players were very quick-witted. His footballing brain has seen him tried in midfield at times for Castilla this season, putting in a strong shift even there. His first professional goal saw Castilla claim their only away win of the season, as he headed in a lovely looking cross from Martín Calderón before helping the team keep a clean-sheet. When the most expensive Castilla side of all time was fielded, with over €80,000,000 worth of talent on show, it was Gila who stole the show, earning the man of the match title for outshining the rest. A defender I could watch all day. Next season, he should be Castilla’s most important starting defender. If he completes another similar or even improved season, then La Liga awaits...

Castilla rating: 8/10.

Javier Hernández

Games: 24

Goals: 2

Assists: 0

Man of the Match Awards: 1

Before last summer I had never heard of Javier Hernández. He had been tucked away out on loan to Oviedo’s B team the season prior. In the end, he was so good there that he finished the season starting for Oviedo’s first team, and was a keen fan favourite. This awesome development earned him a place with the Real Madrid first team for pre-season, and although he was actually pretty bad in these games, he did manage to score against Atlético Madrid in a very forgetful friendly ‘derby’. For Castilla however, he never once looked anywhere near out of place. Javier was one of the best players on the team this season. His one man of the match title may not suggest so, but he was amongst the candidates far too many times to count. Castilla had a job on their hands to replace Javier Sánchez, but Hernández stepped up and was just as good, if not better for Castilla. He started the season being used as a left-back, but fortunately Raúl saw the error of his ways, and returned him to the centre with Fran García returning on the left. The powerful centre-back then took over, and added an element of offensive danger with his set-pieces. Both of his goals this season came from outside of the box, with one being curled in from a free-kick against Coruxo, and the other being a pile-driver that the Majadahonda keeper was unable to get near. One season is all Javier needs. He has a interesting situation ahead of him, as he has a safe option of returning straight into the Oviedo starting line-up if he so chooses. However, I would like to see him challenge himself and step up to the challenge of finding a La Liga based suitor. He is currently training regularly with the Real Madrid first team, and if he can make a surprise appearance or two before the season is done, then it should become realistic for him to find such a move.

Castilla rating: 8.5/10.

Real Madrid B v Pontevedra - Segunda Division B Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Adrián De la Fuente

Games: 14

Goals: 1

Assists: 0

Man of the Match Awards: 0

Adrián was supposed to have the season that Mario Gila had after completing a promising first season last time out. On theme with Sergio López however, he was unable to grab his development with two hands and progress this season. In fact, his performances heavily regressed if anything. He was by no means bad at all, but there were few performances that strayed past mediocrity, and certain mistakes really cost himself and the team. This was almost inconceivable after Adrián spent pre-season with the first team on tour, and came out of it looking pretty good. It now becomes difficult to predict what will happen with Adrián, as it could be deemed time to seek out a new challenge with another club at a higher standard - but he also hasn’t exactly outgrown Castilla. Another disappointing outcome this season.

Castilla rating: 5.5/10.

Víctor Chust

Games: 9

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

Man of the Match Awards: 0

This was Víctor’s first professional season, and he performed pretty well when he was given the opportunity to. If the season was fully completed, then he would have made well over ten appearances, and would have completed his first step on the developmental path that so many successful players have taken. Next season he would normally be looking to substantially increase his opportunities and performances. This becomes difficult with his specific situation however, because a very highly rated player in Pablo Ramón is likely going to be promoted from the under-19s and expecting a fair amount of minutes. Chust should still stay and compete however, as if he was to overcome that competition then he would be primed and ready for a top flight career.

Castilla rating: 6/10.

Fran García

Games: 27

Goals: 1

Assists: 3

Man of the Match Awards: 2

Luckily, Fran García is far too dependable and consistent to have a disappointing season. He managed to replicate his primary Castilla season, and although at face value he has a lower rating than last year, if he completed the final ten cancelled games to the same standard as his previous 28, then he would definitely reach the same rating if not higher. It started off quite nervously, as Raúl either deployed Fran as a winger or benched him in favour of misplaying Javier Hernández at left-back. The experiment predictably flopped, and Raúl displayed sensible character to restore things back to normality and start Fran at left-back once again. From there it was business as usual, as Fran’s direct dribbling and delivery from the byline caused nightmare’s for Segunda B teams. His only goal of the season was a dubious one, and would not have gone in if not for the wild deflection off a defender knee against Getafe B. His time at Castilla is over after just two seasons, and in perfect time as another really promising left-back in Miguel Gutiérrez is eager to get promoted. I want Fran to play in La Liga next, season - and I know he can after a really good Castilla career. He’ll be playing at a higher standard either way, and Madridista’s should be sure to follow his progress.

Castilla rating: 7.5/10.

Ántonio Blanco

Games: 23

Goals: 1

Assists: 1

Man of the Match Awards: 2

A fine first professional season from Ántonio. He not only played in a large amount of games, but he secured a starting spot in the side within months. Despite having a relatively small stature, the defensive minded player is never afraid to do the dirty work and put in some big challenges. He is also very technical though, and his eye for a pass means that he can lead the transition from defence to attack for the team, and control the tempo with ease. The highly rated midfielder has consistent written on his forehead, and has set himself up for a very good Castilla career. Next season he will be one of the first names on the team sheet, and I am personally expecting him to become one of the team’s top performers. If he can do that, then maybe these whispers of a first team chance may not be so rash after all.

Castilla rating: 6.5/10.

Real Madrid B v Pontevedra - Segunda Division B Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Álvaro Fidalgo

Games: 25

Goals: 6

Assists: 3

Man of the Match Awards: 5

It is very rare to see a player spend three seasons with Castilla, scoring high season ratings every time - but improving on those scores without fail each year. Captain Álvaro Fidalgo has managed to do just that. What does need to be said, is that this season should never have happened. He was ready to graduate last summer, and after being heavily involved in the summer for the first team, he could potentially have had great season in the second division with a strong view of playing in La Liga as of now. As it stands, he is 23 years old and may have to take those same jumps but through a smaller window. Unlike many however, he at least didn’t make this wasted year one of regression. The player of the season was phenomenal throughout, and demonstrated his superiority time and time again. His role constantly differed. At times he was given his usual role in midfield, other times he was deployed as an advanced midfielder - and he even played out-wide on occasion. Each time, his technique and ball carrying skills were dripping in class, and he just could not be stopped at this level. He took penalty duty upon himself, and that helped him to finish as the team’s second top scorer with six goals. He was also the team’s second top assister with three assists. He did manage to top one chart however, becoming the player with the most man of the match awards, earning five for his efforts. There is no chance whatsoever that Fidalgo should even be thought about as an option at Castilla in the future, although it is a massive shame that he will finish his Castilla career one shy of 100 appearances... Surprising moves are common at Castilla, and Álvaro could easily follow that pattern and find a club in La Liga. If not, then he would walk into the majority of second division sides. What a servant he has been for Castilla.

Castilla rating: 9/10.

Martín Calderón

Games: 13

Goals: 0

Assists: 1

Man of the Match Awards: 0

Due to injuries elsewhere in the squad Martín played almost 30 games for Castilla last season, and made some good returns from it. After playing an important role in the play-offs for Manolo Díaz, it looked like Calderón was going to be an integral member of the starting line-up for this season. Once again, it did not work out that way. He featured far less, and the only notable contribution this season was the excellent cross put in for Mario Gila to head home in Castilla’s only away win of the season. This unsatisfactory year puts Martín into an awkward position. He could now be pushed out in favour for some of the academies most promising starlets, or a bought replacement. At best, he may retain a bit-part role in next year’s Castilla team. I am not so sure that he is ready for a step up with a move to another club, so he may have to settle for a loan. It is worth keeping tabs on his movements this summer.

Castilla rating: 5.5/10.

Ayoub Abou

Games: 11

Goals: 2

Assists: 1

Man of the Match Awards: 1

Ayoub really didn’t impress me last season after controversially joining from Getafe. This season he did improve slightly, even putting in a few decent performances. He scored his first goals for Castilla, recorded his first assist, and even earned his first man of the match award. A player that looked flat and one dimensional, showed a more complex range to his game this year. On the ball he looked to create a lot more and showcase some skill, whilst his passing vastly improved. Like Calderón, he could stay and play a part in next season’s squad, but I wouldn’t say that he will be thrown many chances.

Castilla rating: 6.5/10.

Álvaro Bravo

Games: 12

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

Man of the Match Awards: 0

Bravo has been a Real Madrid product for a long time, and had already made his mark away from the club with Fuenlabrada and Mirandés. He was brought in for this season to add experience and quality, and whilst his presence may have aided the team, his showings on the pitch did not add much. He was unable to break into a team arguably easier to infiltrate than his previous sides, and when he did get the chance - he did little to remember. It looks like this season at Castilla will be his only one, but I’m glad he did get one. Expect him to be sold to either a third or second division club this summer.

Castilla rating: 5/10.

Miguel Baeza

Games: 26

Goals: 9

Assists: 4

Man of the Match Awards: 3

A historic season personally from this man. Take note that this was his first professional season, within a mundane Castilla side at that. Baeza became both the team’s top scorer, and top assister, as well as one of the top performers. He really became un-droppable. He hit a hat-trick from midfield, including the goal of the season against high-flyers Peña Deportiva. After an extensive search, I am still unable to find the last midfielder to score a hat-trick at Castilla, meaning that he could be the first to do so ever - although I’m sure that is not the case. He has a tall well built frame, but he is still so well-balanced and skillfull. His dribbling is devastating, but his vision is possibly even better. To give you an idea of just how good these numbers are, and that is even with ten games cancelled, here are some scary facts. His scoring numbers in one reduced season are superior to that of current La Liga players Martin Ødegaard, Óscar Rodríguez, Víctor Campuzano, Marcos Llorente and Aleix Febas’s full Castilla numbers. He literally carried the team at times this season. When Reinier came in, his involvement did not stifle, but he did have to adapt and try his luck in other positions such as on the wing. Even there he looked very strong. It’s a shame that the season got cancelled, because Baeza was certain to hit double figures, which would have been another historic landmark reached. Next season he is going to be the man for Castilla, and if he can rise to the very difficult challenge of matching these numbers, then he is going to have an amazing career.

Castilla rating: 8.5/10.

Reinier Jesus Carvalho

Games: 3

Goals: 2

Assists: 1

Man of the Match Awards: 1

Reinier has been my favourite expensive young Brazilian to feature for Castilla in recent times, and it is not close. Hi fits a slightly different profile to the tricky wingers brought in before him, but that also works to his advantage. The attacking midfielder has a powerful core and a mindset that allowed him to jump straight into Segunda B and make even the scrappiest situations look flashier. He was also going to have a far heavier contribution to Castilla, but due to the season getting cancelled will likely only ever play these three games. With Reinier in the team, the play-offs never looked like a dream too big, and their chances of actually reaching them after 38 games were vastly improved. His size does nothing to hamper his pace or skill, and he is lethal in-front of goal. Three goal contributions in three games alongside a man of the match award should be enough to entice many La Liga teams into giving him a chance next summer. He is currently training with the first team, and I expect him to make his first team debut before their season is done.

Castilla rating: 8.5/10.

César Gelabert

Games: 13

Goals: 1

Assists: 0

Man of the Match Awards: 0

This was César’s busiest season after recovering from a ruptured ligament. For the first time fans were able to get a clear glimpse at him in Segunda B, and at times he impressed. He played over ten games, and scored his first professional goal from outside of the area against Sporting B. His control and ability to work his way out of tight spaces was on show countless times, but he was still unable to reach a level befitting of his initial hype. Consistency appears to be an issue, although that could be due to a prolonged recovery process after such a nasty injury. César appears to be the subject of the most speculation from this squad so far, and rumours are linking him to clubs from major footballing countries. His contract is running thin, so he may well have his head turned by opportunities elsewhere. This should be one of the more interesting transfer saga’s for Castilla this summer.

Castilla rating: 6/10.

Rodrygo Goes

Games: 3

Goals: 2

Assists: 0

Man of the Match Awards: 2

Rodrygo played one match early on in the season for Castilla, and I thought that would be it. He looked a level above, and after having featured regularly for the Santos first team in the Brazillian league, as well as impressing for the Real Madrid first team (Even scoring a hat-trick in the Champions League against Galatasary) - Castilla was not really needed. Surprisingly, when the minutes for the senior side began to dry up, the club was willing to allow him to keep things ticking back at Castilla. This is an idea that they should afford most of the young talents at the club. He would likely have played more than just two further games for Castilla, if not for a controversial sending off against UD San Sebastián de los Reyes for an altercation with the goalkeeper after scoring a great solo goal. This meant that he was suspended from the first team Clásico match-up against Barcelona (not that he would have played anyway), and further Castilla games. The season was cancelled not long after, and his time at Castilla, much like all of the young Brazilian players of recent times, was over in a flash. He did also manage to score against Majadahonda - taking a great touch around the defender in the box before finishing from a very tight angle. His direct dribbling matched with his pace is just supreme. His decision making on the whole is admirable, and he is more than ready for a first team role, or a loan move to a decent La Liga club. Great player.

Castilla rating: 8/10.

Marvin Park

Games: 26

Goals: 3

Assists: 1

Man of the Match Awards: 3

One of my favourite Castilla players. After impressing over the past two pre-seasons, Marvin was finally promoted to the team last summer. He fits a similar profile to Rodrygo Goes, mixing pace with a terrifying directness to his play. His end product is yet to be as refined as the Brazilian’s, but after a terrific first professional year, he is now likely to be the starting winger - and a vital part of Castilla’s set-up next year. This will give him the opportunity to enhance his numbers whilst maintaining his level of performance. Members of CastillaCorner believe that he could even have a distant shot at the first team in the future. If he can achieve those milestones, then I would find it hard to disagree.

Castilla rating: 7.5/10.

Francisco Feuillassier

Games: 15

Goals: 1

Assists: 1

Man of the Match Awards: 2

Franchu was another player working his way back into things after picking up a string of detrimental injuries. He has been out of action for so long that his time at Castilla has become somewhat of an anomaly. I must say that it was simply brilliant seeing him back in action, and it did not take him long at all to start drifting past defenders with the ball again. The goal he scored against Getafe B was out of this world, and was only beaten for the goal of the season title by Miguel Baeza’s ridiculous effort against Peña Deportiva. He wasn’t able to manage an abundance of games once again, but the quality he did manage to show would not be out of place in the second division, or even higher next year. That is probably the best thing that can happen to him next season, as another year in and out at Castilla would only hold him back.

Castilla rating: 6.5/10.

Jordi

Games: 20

Goals: 1

Assists: 1

Man of the Match Awards: 0

It was expected by everyone, including Jordi himself, that the winger would spend this season with the under-19s. When Rodrygo Goes and Takefusa Kubo slipped through Raúl’s grip, he was in desperate need of an immediate replacement. Unable to look to the transfer market, Jordi was promoted to Castilla full time. He ended up featuring heavily, and looked comfortable with his new surroundings. A similar player to Franchu, Jordi is a hassle for defenders with his balance and ability on the ball. He managed to get off of the mark for Castilla with a goal against Las Rozas on the opening day of the campaign, but didn’t score again all season. For Juvenil A in the UEFA Youth League, he looked more clinical however. Jordi will be at Castilla next season, and will likely play a similar amount of games with an enhanced status within the squad. He is another player that should be looking to improve upon his numbers next year.

Castilla rating: 6.5/10.

Marc Gual

Games: 6

Goals: 2

Assists: 1

Man of the Match Awards: 1

After Pedro and Rodrigo were both out injured, Castilla were in desperate need for an emergency replacement. Other than perhaps his age of 23, no profile fit better given the context that Marc Gual’s. The big striker with a touch to match came in from Sevilla in January after a career spanning in the second division with Zaragoza and Girona, where he played regularly. This move looked on paper like a step down, but a good (sometimes not even) spell at Castilla from any player is enough to ignite their career at the highest standard. The move was a stroke of genius from Raúl, as Gual immediately started to carry the team. Two goals and one man of the match award in his first two games had fans raving, and made that La Liga dream almost an eventuality. He looked dangerous throughout his remaining four games, but was unable to contribute towards a goal other than an assist for Blanco in the final game. His very high level set early on did deteriorate slightly, but Gual is going to be one of the biggest losers of the cancelled season. It meant that instead of completing a strong half a season, in which he was projected to hit double figures for Castilla and catch the eye of a lot of powerful suitors - he is now 24 with his loan deal expiring after just six games played. He will not be at Castilla next season, but I for one will be very interested to see where he ends up. He has all the qualities needed to play at the highest level, with just consistency in numbers lacking.

Castilla rating: 7.5/10.

Pedro Ruiz

Games: 18

Goals: 4

Assists: 3

Man of the Match Awards: 2

After featuring during two seasons prior for Castilla, Pedro was finally promoted full time to Castilla. It took him 13 attempts to score his first goal, but he went on a good streak after that, scoring four times in six games. Three games later he suffered a season ending injury, which was a big blow for Castilla, as he was on course to reach double figures. The striker is an absolute giant in size, and you could see that he was progressively finding his feet in the professional game in each match he played. His size made him deadly from set-pieces, with many of his goals for Castilla and Juvenil A coming from balls into the area. He eventually started to gain confidence and run with the ball at defenders, and they didn’t want to go near him. The way he uses his feet with the ball to create shooting space or finish in busy situations also refined nicely. Pedro should be back for next season, and should be Castilla’s main starting striker. It is entirely predictable to see him reaching that double figures club, and going on to play a lot higher for the rest of his career.

Castilla rating: 7/10.

Rodrigo Rodrigues

Games: 4

Goals: 0

Assists: 1

Man of the Match Awards: 0

I’m not even sure that I can give Rodrigo a rating for this season. He struggled with injuries right from the start of the campaign, and that resulted in him being only able to complete four games all year, and only 77 minutes in total. This was rough, as he was one of the academies most exciting prospects - and I was eager to see how he would fare at Castilla. He did manage to record a single assist in his very short playing time, playing a neat ‘one-two’ with César Gelabert before the midfielder did the rest. If he can stay fit, I would like to see him heavily involved with Castilla next season, and his ceiling remains very high.

Castilla rating: N/A.

Pablo Rodríguez

Games: 11

Goals: 2

Assists: 0

Man of the Match Awards: 0

At 17 years old, Pablo dazzled in pre-season for Castilla. The tall young striker has supreme technique, and just seems to always be able to grab a goal even on his bad days. This immediately made him my favourite academy player, and I was desperate to see him play more games at professional level. I got my wish early on, as his performances at youth and in the summer were too good to ignore from the club. He didn’t disappoint either, salvaging a point for Castilla in the 90th minute with a gorgeous effort away at UD San Sebastián de los Reyes. After both Pedro and Rodrigo suffered unfortunate injuries, Pablo was promoted full time to the Castilla set-up for the remainder of the season. His next goal came from one of his only two full matches for Castilla - being in the right place at the right time to tap home against Las Rozas. Besides that he played only a small part in a few other games, looking promising throughout. He now needs to be promoted full time next season and given a bigger role. He is young enough to spend another year in the academy, but he has proven that he is more than ready for the step up. The extremely highly rated 17 year old Israel Salazar enters the same situation as Pablo had this season, next season. Depending on how things turn out, maybe more of those eyes should be on Pablo...

Castilla rating: 7/10.

The Exports/Others!

Manu Hernando

Games: 3

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

Man of the Match Awards: 0

I don’t really understand what happened with Manu this season at Castilla. He was supposed to be a senior figure for the team this season, yet ended up playing just two full games, and made on other appearance. This may be one of those situations were added context from events behind the scenes may provide clarity. He left in January for second division side Racing Santander, where he quickly earned a starting spot. Strange, but good luck to him! No rating.

Castilla rating: N/A.

Carlos Dotor

Games: 1

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

Man of the Match Awards: 0

Dotor made his Castilla debut against Pontevedra after impressing in the academy this season, coming on right at the end. A minute can’t possibly earn a rating, but I’m sure that we will see more of him in the near future.

Castilla rating: N/A.

Jaun Latasa

Games: 5

Goals: 0

Assists: 0

Man of the Match Awards: 0

Latasa was another youth player to prematurely impress for Castilla during pre-season. This form was rewarded with involvement in each of the first five games for Castilla. He played well during those games, but the red hot form of fellow academy ace Pablo Rodríguez became too much, and he was dropped back to Juvenil A. From there, he eventually found his feet and began scoring consistently. He may well have to spend another season with the 19s, again due to Pablo’s brilliance. He is however good enough for a crack at professional senior football, so maybe a loan move could be on the cards. He did enough to earn a modest rating during these games. Exciting player.

Castilla rating: 5.5/10.

Conclusion!

It is a shame for so many reasons that the season was cut short, but when there are bigger things going on in the world it’s easy to realise that it is all for the best. Finishing so close to the play-off places is unfortunate, but after spending so much time fighting at the other end of the table a 7th place finish falls for some pretty reading. I predicted the team to finish in 4th place last summer with the knowledge that Rodrygo Goes and Takefusa Kubo would walk the league. That predication became rather redundant when those players left, and with the current knowledge that the season would not even be finished. For that reason, there will be no season verdict this year. It was not a success, nor at all a failure. The season may have been an average one, but it sets up a lot of exciting cases ahead of next season. Once again, a newly reformed Castilla with plenty of new and familiar faces will try to create the very first sparks of a hopefully burning hot career. The first team still have games to complete (And that the very familiar Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, too!), so hopefully not every Castilla players season is over just yet. For the thousandth time and many more, I want to thank you all so much for following both the team, ManagingMadrid, and myself this season. It’s been a busy one, but I can’t wait to go again for next year! Be sure to join me to track the promise of 2020/21...

Real Madrid B v Pontevedra - Segunda Division B Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Castilla Season verdict: Cancelled!