Luc Castaignos was destined for greatness.
Touted as ‘the next Thierry Henry’, the Dutch striker was tipped for superstardom from a young age.
Having starred for Feyenoord and Holland at youth level, Castaignos’ performances earned him widespread admiration.
The Dutchman’s athleticism and love of the Henry finish™ drew comparisons with the legendary Arsenal striker.
Comparisons that the wonderkid was keen to dismiss: “Am I like Henry? Lots of people have said this but I am Castaignos and he is Henry,” the Dutchman said in 2011.
After a 15-goal haul in the 2010/11 Eredivisie season, Inter Milan beat the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs to the promising youngster’s signature.
The pressures of a £4million move to I Nerazzurri at the tender age of 18 could have weighed heavy but for his unrivalled confidence.
“I find it easy to score and if I’m playing for a great team it should be even easier,” he said upon signing for the San Siro club.
Those words would doom his career to a downwards trajectory.
The winner against Siena in November 2011 was the only goal Castaignos would score in a disappointing debut season.
Persistent injuries were then compounded by an altercation with Bologna’s Andrea Raggi in which the Dutchman spat at the defender.
He was subsequently banned for three games and banished to the reserves for the rest of the campaign.
Much like his modesty, his ability was non-existent in Milan.
Just one year and eight appearances after his dream move to Serie A, Castaignos returned to Holland with Steve McClaren’s FC Twente.
The striker picked up exactly where he left off in the Eredivisie and enjoyed three prolific seasons with Twente.
The Dutchman scored 42 goals in 114 games and started to turn the heads of clubs across Europe once again.
Eintracht Frankfurt snapped him up in 2015 for £3million and the Dutchman made a promising start to life in the Bundesliga.
Four goals in as many games at the start of the season led many to believe Castaignos had finally exorcised his Serie A demons.
However his impressive form was short-lived after an ankle ligament tear sidelined him for several months.
The Dutchman failed to fight his way back into the first team and by the end of the season he was clearing out his locker and moving onto pastures new once again.
Sporting CP was next on his round-the-world tour.
Castaignos’ arrival in Lisbon raised eyebrows at the time and the fans’ scepticism would prove to be warranted.
He managed just 17 games for the club after failing to dislodge his countryman Bas Dost from the starting lineup.
An underwhelming loan spell with Vitesse Arnhem was sandwiched between his two-and-a-half seasons in Portugal’s top tier.
He scored just three times during his temporary stint in Holland and upon returning to Sporting his career was marooned in footballing purgatory.
Castaignos’ loggerheads with Sporting finally came to an end at the start of February.
The Dutchman had his contract mutually terminated and bizarrely joined up with K-League side Gyeongnam.
The move to South Korea secures the Dutchman’s place in footballing folklore.
His is one of the strangest career paths to date, more so because nobody saw it coming.
From ‘the next Henry’ to the footballing abyss.
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