What position does he play?
FC Barcelona are not a side known for lacking in attacking power and phenomenal flare, so their new starlet, Sandro Ramirez Castillo, is in good company at the top of the field. The 20-year-old is a right footed, highly mobile forward who has, as a result of the abundance of competitive talent at Camp Nou, developed his game in recent years to make him capable of venturing out wide, covering either wing and forcing his way into an incredibly talented squad.
When did he first make name for himself?
Having been picked up by the Barcelona youth set-up at the age of 14, Sandro worked his way through the Spanish club’s ranks. He spent a couple of years in the Barcelona B team, which saw him emerge as a regular on the score sheet, managing 15 goals in 61 appearances with his displays rewarded with a chance in the first-team, making an immediate impact, scoring the winning goal away to Villarreal on his debut.
How far can he go?
He will be hoping that he can use his eye for goal and impressive commitment as a workhorse in the side to force opportunities for himself and others to win games. Competition for a first-team place is like no other, with the calibre of players ahead of him unimaginably strong, which has caused many before him – Alexis and Pedro – to seek a move away instead of fighting for a place. However, Lionel Messi’s recent injury makes a regular position look slightly more likely, offering extra hope for young Sandro to make a big impression and fill an even bigger void.
What are his best attributes?
Incisive attacking prowess and excellent technical ability are pretty much sure things for a graduate of the Barcelona youth system, and Sandro’s strong eye for goal even from wide positions is evident from his performances for both first and B team. His pace and skill gives him an edge over defenders trying to stop him but even if he can’t beat them, powerful, precise shots from outside the box and when he cuts inside from the wings have also proven to be a dangerous asset.
What does he need to improve?
Despite versatility obviously being a virtue in teams, a clearer determination of what his best position may be would be helpful for his development as well as his position in any side he plays in. He may prefer playing as a centre forward, but if competition for that position forces him out wide, a more developed defensive brain would be required by him to fulfil the requirements of a technically difficult role. It will also be interesting to see whether he can keep the level of his performances high thrown in at the deep end with the first-team, like many promising players, such as Bojan, have failed to do in the past.