I am looking forward to challenging myself as well as helping the team to achieve its goals.Juan Castillo
The 21-year-old defender joins the Club from Chelsea on a season-long loan until June 30 2022 (subject to league clearance) and arrives having represented the Netherlands at every age group between Under-15s and Under-20s.
Castillo was signed by the reigning champions of Europe in the summer of 2016 and in his first season at the Bridge forced his way into an academy side that included Mason Mount and Reece James, with the outfit completing an Under-18 Premier League and FA Youth Cup double.
In the Youth Cup, he was a goalscorer at the semi-final stage before keeping the likes of Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden at bay during a 6-2 aggregate victory in the final.
Further success followed for the Dutchman as he earned a second Youth Cup winners medal in 2018, as well as playing in the final of that year’s UEFA Youth League. This coincided with an emergence into Chelsea’s development team and finding the net in a Checkatrade Trophy quarter-final win over Oxford United.
His development continued as the team from the capital were again runners-up in the UEFA Youth League 12 months later.
Ahead of joining Blues, Castillo has gained experience on loan in his homeland. Firstly, with Ajax, where he was mainly involved in their Under-21 side, providing six assists as they finished fourth in the Dutch second division in the 2019-20 season.
He then spent the last campaign split between AZ Alkmaar and ADO Den Haag, making 17 appearances with the latter.
Having chosen the West Midlands as his home for the 2021/22 season, Castillo said:
“I am really pleased to have joined the Club. After speaking with Lee [Bowyer] and Craig [Gardner] it was clear that Blues was the right place to play my football this season.
“The atmosphere around the place is really positive, so it is now a case of working hard during pre-season and being ready for the opening matches.
“The Championship is a really competitive division, and I am looking forward to challenging myself as well as helping the team to achieve its goals.”
Welcome to Blues, Juan!