THE BREAKDOWN: What’s Next For Castro?
Leonardo Castro linked with Sundowns exit
Mamelodi Sundowns striker Leonardo Castro appears to be on his way out of the club and now we take a look ahead to what the future might hold for him.
The Siya crew revealed in Soccer Laduma issue number 1035 that Sundowns are looking to offload the Colombian during the July/August transfer window, rather than losing him for free at the end of the 2017/18 campaign. As part of the story, he was linked with a swap deal as part of the Oupa Manyisa deal that brought him from Orlando Pirates to Chloorkop. Castro has also been linked with Pirates’ Soweto rivals, Kaizer Chiefs, in the past and we now take a look at his performances and what his next move may be.
Following an incredible 2015/16 campaign alongside Keagan Dolly and Khama Billiat in the lethal ‘CBD’ trident, Castro was used largely as a substitute, due to Percy Tau’s emergence as the team’s first choice false nine, which also means that his stats will be inflated if measured on a per 90 minutes scale. Therefore, his stats don’t necessarily provide the full story, but will at least provide an indicator of what he’s done in the last year.
Castro in 2016/17
The 28-year-old started just four games last season, coming off of the bench 10 times, but did impress with 45,6 touches and 31.2 passes per 90 minutes. His passing accuracy was poor though, with just 68.2% of them finding the target, which would have cost him in terms of build up play and the effect that he made on the pitch, while not getting into the box. 4.77 penalty area touches per 90 minutes was also unimpressive and showed that getting into dangerous areas was not a strong point for him either.
However, when he did find himself in front of goal, he managed to take 3,3 shots per 90 minutes, of which 77,8% came from inside the box. with a shot accuracy of 33,3%. Unfortunately, he didn’t score a single goal, which, ultimately, will count against him as a striker. However, Castro did an incredible job of winning the ball back, with 7,1 balls won per 90, meaning that he is capable of winning the ball back in dangerous areas – something that can be useful for his teammates in attack. The question is how this could help his potential suitors?
Chiefs’ biggest problem up front comes down to scoring goals, which Castro was unable to do last season, but he was able to get into the positions that could be useful and, having taken a reasonable number of shots per 90, perhaps, with a bit of luck, he could provide the end product that the Naturena-based club so desperately needs.
Pirates’ primary issue up front last season was their reliance on Tendai Ndoro, with the Zimbabwean scoring four times as many goals (12) as Pirates’ second top goalscorer, Dove Wome (3). Castro wouldn’t only be able to be a partner to Ndoro, but he could renew his 2015/16 goalscoring form, where he scored 10 goals, if he finds refreshment in a new environment.
Castro may be able to negotiate a new contract with Mamelodi Sundowns or he could move onto greener pastures at either of the Soweto giants. However, he simply can’t afford to find himself in an environment that would lead to another goalless season and the time is now for him to make a decision on his future.
What do you think Castro should do? Have your say in the comments section below.