PROFILE | Romain Del Castillo – one step back, two steps forward| All Football

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PROFILE | Romain Del Castillo – one step back, two steps forward

  /  autty

Sometimes all it takes is the right time and place for a player to come into their own and demonstrate something spectacular that had been hiding just beneath the surface. For Romain Del Castillo, the year that’s passed at Stade Brestois has been just that, as his evolution under manager Eric Roy has seen Les Pirates challenge the podium positions in Ligue 1.

Del Castillo developed through the talent factory at Olympique Lyonnais’ youth academy but failed to break into the first team, needing loan spells at Bourg En Bresse and Nîmes Olympique to find consistent football. These loans might not have helped his case with Les Gones with the winger only featuring twice for the club, but they did earn the Frenchman a move to Stade Rennais.

Three years in Brittany allowed for him to showcase his playmaking credentials but in the final year, a lengthy absence due to an injury lost him his starting role and drew the curtains on his time in Rennes. From there, Del Castillo appeared to take a step down when in the summer transfer window of 2021 he moved to local rivals Brest, but it is here that his career has truly begun to flourish.

Unlike at Rennes, Del Castillo’s third year at Brest has been a revelation where the winger has become the first name on the teamsheet. The winger’s threat had previously been limited to his ability to construct goals for his teammates, but there has been a transformation this season, where the Frenchman has now added an eye for goal to his game.

Del Castillo leads Les Pirates in goals and assists with five each after seventeen games played. For the first time in his career, there is now a reliance on the winger to change the fate of matches and this has rewarded Brest with an already historic season where they entered the halfway point in fourth place.

This evolution has come with the appointment of Roy as the Brest manager the summer just passed. However, despite Del Castillo attaining a new level under his manager, Roy is reluctant to allow his star to become complacent, “He’s a bit mischievous; people think he lacks stamina, but he can make the effort. If he commits defensively, he’ll be even more potent offensively as he’ll be in sync with the team. That’s where I want him to elevate his game,” said Roy.

GFFN | Nick Hartland