In a widely anticipated move, New York City Football Club officially lent star forward Valentin “Taty” Castellanos to Spain’s Girona FC on Monday.
Castellanos won the 2021 MLS Golden Boot with 19 goals during the regular season and added three more during NYCFC’s run to their first MLS Cup championship.
The 23-year-old from Argentina currently leads the MLS with 13 goals in 17 matches. Sebastian Driussi of Austin FC has 13 in 22 matches.
Girona FC and NYCFC are both owned by City Football Group, along with Premier League side Manchester City.
Castellanos, whose loan to Girona runs through June 2023, tallied 50 goals and 20 assists in 109 matches (91 starts) since joining the MLS club in 2018.
“I came to New York City four years ago and this experience has been everything I could have wanted,” he said in a team news release. “It was here where I grew up and took my game to the next level. MLS is a strong and extremely competitive league with fantastic quality.
“… While it is difficult to leave this Club, I strongly believe that this is the right time for me to move to Europe which has always been a personal dream of mine. I feel confident and ready for a new challenge. I would like to thank NYCFC and Girona FC for giving me this opportunity and for finding a way for me to continue my journey and prove myself.”
Earlier this season, Castellanos became the first player in NYCFC history to score four goals in a match during a 6-0 win against Real Salt Lake on April 17.
“I’d like to thank Taty for the amazing contribution he’s made to the Club since he joined us in 2018,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said. “His work ethic and commitment has been second to none and it’s been a pleasure to watch him continually improve his game and become such an important player for our team and one of the best players in the League. From winning the Golden Boot last season and leading the line as we won our first MLS Cup, he’s written his name in the NYCFC history books.”
Castellanos made his final appearance for NYCFC in Saturday night’s 2-0 win against Inter Miami CF at Yankee Stadium. He exited to a standing ovation in the 61st minute.
He will join Girona for the start of the La Liga season in August.
–Field Level Media