Luc Castaignos 21 Striker Twente Netherlands
2013 has been…
A time to get back to basics. Back in the Eredivisie with Twente after the move from Inter last year, it’s been a year of understanding his reality. After a small war of words he’s now had to accept that his time in Italy has made him a poster boy for too much too soon, seduced by a transfer to a club with a huge history but little time or inclination to alter to suit his needs. Most observers felt it was going to go exactly as it did but hoped it wouldn’t, the fact it did go so wrong shouldn’t hang over the rest of the his career like a blue and black striped milestone.
In general the last twelve months have been good, nothing to punch the air about but also nothing to pound the ground for either. He’s had plenty of game time and is learning to adapt from being to a fairly straight-forward central striker to something a bit more in the modern template. This season has started brightly, at the time of writing and 14 games into the league campaign he’s scoring at rate of a goal every other game and showing signs of improvement. The swagger may not have returned fully but there’s a determination he needed to recover after the Italian job.
The pace, power and touch are all still there but there is an air of ‘what else have you got’ from some. He’s been through what while perhaps prove to be the biggest learning experience of his entire career already, time to focus on what comes next.
Nothing, all he needs to do is settle and concentrate on playing football. The move to Inter was officially a disaster, a mess of injuries, substitute appearances, a stupid ban for an act of utter petulance and then relegation to the reserves. He left claiming he wanted a move to a ‘big’ club and to be frank, the whole thing became a bit of an embarrassment as he quickly realised the Real Madrid’s and Bayern Munich’s of this world had long since lost interest.
But that doesn’t mean he can’t get himself back on the radar in time. The move to Inter came from that electric season for Feyernoord where he looked every inch the next Dutch superstar. At the moment he looks good, back in a league where he can compete and get himself amongst the goals regularly. He needs to get his head down, keep working on the basics and ignore any transfer nonsense, in ten years time it may be that he is still ‘just’ a good striker but he has a chance of being a great one. Self-belief has never been a problem, here’s hoping he can couple that with a better attitude and a strong work ethic.
"Twelve months ago, I lobbied hard for Castaignos's inclusion in the 100. I thought that after his return to the Eredivisie from the disastrous move to Inter he'd set the competition alight. It's really not been like that. He's not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but he's not reached the star potential that I and many others once saw in him. He's a regular enough goal-scorer without ever troubling the Golden Shoe, but is being little more than decent such a bad thing?” – John Dobson, Eredivisie enthusiast
“Went from a team that suited his play (Inter) but didn't give him minutes to a team that gives him playing time but don't suit his play (Twente). Decent mover in space, but all round game needs developing” – Michiel Jongsma, Benefoot
"Luc Castaignos has fired in more shots on target (33) than any other player in the Eredivisie this season." - Opta
C Once looked great, now looks ‘merely’ good – that’s okay, isn’t it?