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Yosuke Ideguchi looks to be moving on up in Bielsa’s eyes

Update about the Japan international midfielder’s progress in training camp

Cultural Leonesa v Sevilla II - Segunda Division Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Some good news out of Leeds United training camp today, as one of the players that seemed to be on the “edge” and training with the U23s looks to be moving into the “core” group of players that Bielsa seems to be working with more. Yosuke Ideguchi had been training with the U23s, along with Mateusz Klich and Laurens De Bock.

Ideguchi has seemed to move from the U23s as a “fringe” player and looks to be with the main group this week according to Yorkshire Evening Post reporter Phil Hay. This bodes well for the Japanese international who was one of the final cuts to the Japan World Cup squad that was eliminated in the round of 16 in heartbreaking fashion by Belgium.

After an ill-fated loan-spell at Cultural Leonesa in Spain, Ideguchi will be wanting to put his best foot forward during preseason. As a highly regarded prospect from Japan, the 21 year-old was introduced during the January transfer window to a lot of fanfare, but he was sent on loan to the Segunda division in Spain to spend time with Cultural Leonesa. The reason he was sent on loan to Cultural was allegedly to get him acclimated to European football and make sure he had plenty of playing time in order to make the World Cup squad for Japan.

However, Ideguchi failed to impress during his time at Cultural, and instead of making an impact in Spain, he spent almost the entire time on the bench while the manager used his more experienced veterans in central midfield in a relegation battle that Cultural ended up losing.

Perhaps the stability of a club not in desperate form to avoid the drop, along with the benefit of a full preseason and some assistance in the language will result in better results for Ideguchi and Leeds. The signing of him from Gamba Osaka was seen as a big deal when it was officially announced, let’s hope he lives up to the hype.