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Leeds United have today confirmed Yosuke Ideguchi has today rejoined Japanese side Gamba Osaka for an undisclosed fee. Victor Orta’s transfer policy when he arrived at Leeds may have seemed like a bit of a gamble. Some signings worked out, some (Ok many of them) didn’t work out at all. But that is true just as much for the individual players as it is the football club. With so many signings in similar positions it was guaranteed that many of the signings would not see much first team football.
For Yosuke Ideguchi who gambled his World Cup chances with a transfer to Leeds United it’s a move that didn’t work out on that cost him his World Cup chances. Since his debut for Japan in 2016, Ideguchi had been instrumental in his country’s fortunes. No less so when he scored the second goal in the 2-0 win over Australia that sealed Japan’s place in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. But he wanted to play at a higher level and experience football outside of Japan, the move to Leeds was his opportunity but it was a bit of a gamble.
Ideguchi has not seen any first team football for Leeds, instead he was immediately sent out on loan to Spanish side Cultural Leonesa. After only one start and four substitute appearances did not feature again and his World Cup chances last summer faded away. His lack of first team football had seen him left out of Japan’s squads this year by former manager Vahid Halilhodzic. Ideguchi returned to Leeds for pre-season last summer but was not to feature in Marcelo Bielsa’s plans instead going out on loan to German side Greuther Fürth.
A posterior cruciate ligament injury last September compounded his woes and he did not feature again until this May. In total he made 7 appearances, scoring 1 goal for Greuther Fürth. It was clear this summer that Ideguchi had no part to play at Leeds United and confirmation of his long rumoured return to Japan puts an end to a difficult period in his career.