Jonny 22 Defender Celta Vigo Spain
Something of a house favourite at IBWM and a player that we awarded a B to last year. A regular at Celta for several years now, Jonathan Castro Otto has been mainstay of La Liga and at 22 has clocked up well over 100 appearances in Spain’s top flight. A regular starter for Spain at under 21 level this year, covering at centre-back as well as the more full-back role he occupies in Galicia.
2016 has been…
More of the same. We finally feel that we no longer need to bang the drum for Jonny as he’s now very familiar to many. A first ever goal against Eibar in February broke a duck but being called up to the national side, albeit as a reserve, for a friendly with Costa Rica and a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Belarus in May were just reward for an able and hard-working player.
At Celta Jonny has operated primarily as a left-back this season under coach Eduardo Berizzo, who had tended to move the young defender around a lot more previously. Celta look a more than reasonable bet for a mid-table finish this year which will, once again, be widely welcomed within the club. Losing Nolito to Manchester City in the summer was tough to take, but the club remains resourceful and have adapted to his departure relatively well, Iago Aspas remaining a key figure.
We were a little surprised to find that Jonny didn’t move in the summer, something that we thought may be a given once he’d received a national team call in the spring. We assumed, wrongly, that an accomplished and experienced defender, especially one so versatile, would have attracted widespread interest. It’s also hard to imagine that Celta would have held out for a prohibitive fee for the young defender but despite some speculation, nothing surfaced.
Under contract at Celta for another two and a half years, Jonny has, of late, looked to be operating a little more within his comfort zone than we’d seen previously. Still one of the more accomplished defenders in the league, comfortable on the ball and strong in the tackle, we can’t help feeling that a little of the intensity has gone this season. It’s worth remembering that Jonny has played an awful lot of football in the last few years and may well benefit from a break at some point but maybe it’s time for a new challenge.
At time of writing there appears to be quite a lot of speculation regarding Celta captain Hugo Mallo, who really is a very good player, and whether he may move on in January. The likelihood is that Mallo, like Jonny, will remain at Os Célticos until the summer in order to ensure that they maintain their top flight status and progress in the Europa League. After that, all bets are off and it may well be that two players that have served Celta so well down the years finally depart.
C Time to move on
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