In this series, brought to you by Just Football, we take a look at some of the most interesting talents in Scandinavian football, that’s ready to start the 2020 season after the COVID-19 crisis. Next up is Aalesund’s striker Niklas Castro.

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Castro started off life at the Vålerenga youth academy, but he soon moved to OBOS Ligaen side Kongsvinger in 2017. After two solid seasons there he moved to Aalesund in 2019 where he registered 17 goals and 11 assists in just 24 games. His overall record in the OBOS Ligaen reads a ridiculous 40 goals and 32 assists from 77 appearances. Sometimes there are doubts as to whether a player can make a step up to the next level in a league pyramid system, but in this instance, it’s obvious he’s totally ready.

In February, Castro received his official Chilean nationality. His mother is Norwegian, but his father is Chilean and has long expressed a desire to play for La Roja. He was widely expected to be named in the squad for the end of March World Cup qualifiers, which ultimately never took place. What is so striking about Castro is the balance between goals scored and assists. This is because he is equally adept at playing as a striker or attacking midfielder. Playing out wide isn’t out of the question either.

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Nikals Castro OBOS Ligaen statistics (per 90 mins) for the 2019 season.

He has really strong overall attacking statistics, but his actual goals scored of 0.72 per 90 mins stands out as being especially impressive. In addition to that, his assist rate is excellent, averaging close to one every two games. Just all round this guy seems to ooze quality and is a great footballing package. All eyes will be on Castro to see if he can perform this year and I expect him to seriously impress. With the Eliteserien hopefully set for a full mid-June – December season and the prognosis perhaps better in Norway compared to some other countries, he will have the chance to make his mark in front of a wider audience.

As aforementioned, Castro does have an eye for making an assist. He’s not a greedy player and happy to play in a teammate. But he has great vision, flair and air for the spectacular for a player who was in the 2nd tier of Norwegian football. Below is an example of a perfectly executed backheeled flick assist.

 

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Castro seemingly drifting out wide with few options on.
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An inspired backheel and great run by the striker plays him in for a huge chance which is converted into a goal.

 

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