Gareth Taylor’s widely anticipated reconstruction of Manchester City Women has begun with the recruitment of the Venezuela international Deyna Castellanos from Atlético Madrid.
The 23-year-old striker is expected to be the first of several summer signings at the Etihad campus and will officially join Taylor’s squad on 1 July. Castellanos comes through City’s currently revolving door trailing an impressive CV. In just over two seasons in Spain, a player who will wear the No 10 shirt in Manchester scored 26 goals in 71 appearances, while internationally she captains her country and has 12 goals from 25 games.
Her formative playing years were spent in the US where, while attending Florida State University, she shone for its team, the Seminoles. In 2017, when Castellanos was 18, she was shortlisted for Fifa’s best women’s player of the year award alongside Carli Lloyd and Lieke Martens.
Taylor, who has said farewell to some key City players including England’s Lucy Bronze and her Bayern Munich-bound international teammate Georgia Stanway this summer, is suitably delighted to have acquired the striker. “We’re thrilled to have Deyna on board,” he said. “She’s a player we’ve admired for a long time. She’s an incredibly exciting talent who has a real hunger and desire to be highly successful.”
Castellanos sounded similarly enthused. “Looking around all the facilities here is just amazing,” she said. “I believe this club will help improve me as a player and I hope I can improve Manchester City too. The style of football the team play was very attractive to me and I feel as though I can fit in very well here, while also being challenged to develop and grow.”
The coming weeks are set to see a significant changing of the guard at the Etihad campus where, in addition to Bronze and Stanway, others exiting Taylor’s squad include Scotland’s Caroline Weir, England’s Jill Scott and the retiring England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley.