Taty Castellanos: “What I like about the club is the people. The people that work here. My teammates that help me grow day after day.” (Photo courtesy of MLS)

NEW YORK – New York City FC Thursday announced that forward Valentin “Taty” Castellanos has signed a new five-year contract with the Major League Soccer club through 2025.

The Mendoza, Argentina native joined NYCFC on loan in 2018 from City Football Group club Montevideo City Torque. The club activated an option to purchase Castellanos after a successful loan stint, which included a goal in his debut against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

The announcement ended rumors that Castellanos would be joining another club.

Last weekend, Castellanos became the fifth player in MLS history to score in four consecutive games to begin a season.

“I’m very happy about this opportunity the club is giving me,” he said in a statement. “The people here have my back and help me to be a better person and player every day. I’m happy to keep developing my career with the club.

“What I like about the club is the people. The people that work here. My teammates that help me grow day after day. I’m very happy and calm here. I feel the respect from everyone that works here, and I think it’s a wonderful situation for me and my career to continue with this Club.

“We have objectives as a group that we all talk about. Everyone that works at the club — the trainers, the kitchen staff—everyone. We’re all New York City. We’re all part of this and we keep working hard to reach those objectives. I want to play as many games as I can and continue to score as much as I can. Obviously, we want to win a title and I want to win big things in my career.

“Thank you so much to the fans for all the support. I’m very happy to stay at this Club for many years to come. You have always supported me and have written nice things to me. Thank you for always supporting me.”

Castellanos has scored 22 goals and added 11 assists across 64 league appearances for NYCFC. He also scored in the Round of 16 during last season’s MLS is Back Tournament to boost his goalscoring tally to 23 in all competitions, the second most of any active player and one shy of Maxi Moralez.

In early 2020, Castellanos helped the Argentina Under-23 qualify for the Olympic Games later this summer in Tokyo. He played in six of the Albiceleste’s seven matches throughout the qualifiers.

“We’re absolutely delighted that Taty has signed a contract extension,” NYCFC sporting director David Lee said in a statement. “Since arriving at the club as a 19-year-old he has developed into a complete forward and has become an integral part of our team. He is proving to be one of the most effective forwards in the league.

“It has always been our intention for Taty to remain with the club and we’re pleased that he wanted to continue his career here and has committed his future by extending his contract. It is a testament to the work our club does that young, talented players like Taty believe NYCFC is the best place for them to continue to develop and help them reach the goals they have for their careers.”

In his first season under head coach Ronny Deila, Castellanos led the team in goals with 7 during the pandemic shortened season. The Argentine also topped the shot charts in MLS with 75 and was tied for first in shots on target with Diego Rossi at 34.

Castellanos is one of five players to have scored a hat trick in Bronx Blue, doing so in the 2020 Hudson River Derby at Yankee Stadium.

“Taty has been in excellent form since we returned from preseason and has shown the ability to be one of the best forwards in MLS,” Deila said. “He comes to training every day with an incredible work ethic that has allowed him to improve tremendously. He gets himself into great positions on the pitch and is a handful for our opponents’ defenders. I’m excited to continue to work with him and he has every chance to have a big career and reach that next level.”