Valentin Castellanos propelled New York City FC to their first victory under interim head coach Nick Cushing, managing two goals in the 4-2 triumph over the New England Revolution.
The forward now leads the league with 12 goals so far this season, cementing his place atop the Golden Boot standings again after earning the honor in 2021. But his dominance in Major League Soccer is no longer satisfactory, claiming he doesn’t 'have anything else to win here'.
Prior to kick off against the Revolution, Castellanos voiced his intentions to leave the club this summer in search of a bigger challenge abroad.
“I’ve been in this league for a while, and I would like to keep growing. Being young and having the opportunity to go to Europe to another league, I think it would be something great and a dream for me. Sometimes you’re not ready yet and it’s not the right time, but right now I think I am in my best moment,” he explained.
“I’m enjoying myself and my mentality is different from when I first joined the league. I think right now there is an opportunity, and it would be great to keep growing in Europe and keep doing there what I’ve been doing here.”
Castellanos first arrived at NYCFC in 2018 on loan from Universidad de Chile, before permanently joining the MLS side ahead of the 2019 campaign. The forward managed 18 goals in his first three seasons, but it wasn’t until his fourth year that Castellanos began to shine for the Cityzens.
The striker concluded the 2021 season with 19 goals to win the Golden Boot and inspire a historic MLS Cup run for the team. With Castellanos in full force, NYC lifted the league trophy for the first time ever. Given the recent success, Taty feels confident more is out there.
“I had the opportunity to win the Golden Boot last year, to be champion in the [Eastern] Conference and be champion of the entire league. I don’t have anything else to win here, but I’m still in this league," he explained.
"I’m battling for the Golden Boot once again and I don’t give myself a ceiling. I always want more. I want to keep winning things, be the best player at my position, the best player in my team, the player in the league.”
Castellanos also insisted that the day-to-day is great with the team, affirming his search for a transfer has nothing to do with his teammates or NYCFC.
“I enjoy the day-to-day here. Even though there haven’t been concrete offers at this moment when the window just opened, I am calm," he said.
"At the same time, I do want to continue my development somewhere else. That would be great too, for my development and see how far I can go and see where I fit in Europe. It’s a goal I’d like to set for myself and really see where I am at the European level."