New York City FC signed Valentin Castellanos, a 19-year old Argentine attacking midfielder from Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay. He will be on loan until the conclusion of 2018 with the option to buy, the club announced Friday.
“Valentin is a fast, young player who can play as a No. 7, as a No. 11 or even as a No. 9 as he did in his last three games with Torque,” NYCFC coach Dome Torrent told NYCFC.com. “He has a lot of quality one-v-one and he has a lot of energy. He will improve our attacking, especially when the team wants to play a bit deeper and we want to get in behind.”
Torrent expressed a need for midfield help during the current transfer period following the season-ending injury to Yangel Herrera in late May. While failing to secure a like-for-like replacement for the Venezuelan, the club has acquired a pair of midfielders from sister clubs within the City Football Group.
In addition to Valentin, the club inked versatile 33-year old Eloi Amagat Wednesday on a free transfer from Girona in Spain.
Castellanos was named the Young Player of the Month for June in Uruguay’s Primera Division. In two seasons with Torque, he appeared in 30 matches with five goals in all competitions. His last match was on June 10 in a 3-2 loss to Nacional. Torque finished 14 out of 16 teams in the 2018 Apertura of Uruguay’s Primera Division.
On the opposite end of the age spectrum is Amagat, and Torrent told Pro Soccer USA that he is not expected to be the mirror image of Herrera.
“He’s a little bit different than Yangel,” Torrent said. “We needed at least one player for four months and I preferred a player with experience in these kind of games and if we get the playoffs.”
Amagat, whose name means “hidden,” was hand-picked by the New York City coach. The two were together when Torrent managed Girona over a dozen years ago.
“I worked with him when he was 19 years old,” Torrent said. “He was an amazing player because he can play in three different positions in the midfield. In my opinion he has quality to play between (Alex) Ring and Maxi (Moralez). He’s a good player for us.”
Amagat has been in hiding a majority of his career in the second, third and fourth divisions of Spain after joining his hometown club Girona in 2004. He has logged a total of 14 minutes in La Liga after Girona was promoted to the top tier in 2017-18.
“I know exactly what to expect of him for these four months,” Torrent said.
Meanwhile, NYCFC still lacks the valid substitute for the rugged Herrera in the center of the park.