Well, I guess this counts as the “surprise from Asia.”
The Yorkshire Evening Post is reporting that Leeds United are close to landing the signature of Japan international Yosuke Ideguchi from Gamba Osaka. The 21 year-old midfielder was named the young player of the year by the J League.
Leeds had been looking all across Europe for their signings during the summer transfer window and it’s not a surprise that the club would look to Asia for a few signings. The club named Toshiya Fujita head of recruitment for Asia this past July, and apparently his hard work has paid off with a rising star of the J league looking to commit his future to Leeds.
Nice to be back Tokyo...it has been a while @ Tokyo, Japan https://t.co/6r3NK0o64X— Andrea Radrizzani (@andrearadri) August 29, 2017
Maybe this was the reason that Leeds owner was in Toyko before the end of the transfer window. As usual, the club had managed to keep almost all of the rumors of potential targets close to the vest, and it was somewhat of a surprise to see that Victor Orta was claiming that a signing from Asia was on the way, although with this management group, nothing should be seen as shocking.
Of course, will this signing make footballing sense? Lots of owners allegedly have looked at signing a player from Asia in order to increase the team’s profile. Manchester United had reportedly purchased Shinji Kagawa back in 2012 in part because of the success commercially that they had with Park Ji-Sun and the increase of popularity he brought in South Korea.
While his commercial appeal might be a benefit, it appears that the young midfielder has talent. He has already scored a wonder-goal against Australia during World Cup qualifying for Japan. He has also scored three goals and gotten six assists for Gamba Osaka so far this season. Orta has appeared to put footballing considerations first during his recruitment so far, and so there is no reason to think that this signing has any other reasons behind it.
Leeds signing players from Japan? No one would have thought this was possible even six months ago. What has the world come to. MOT