One of the more notable Leeds United players never to have actually taken the pitch in a competitive match for the club appears to be on his way back to Japan. Yosuke Ideguchi, who came to Leeds in the January transfer window two seasons ago, appears to be heading back to Gamba Osaka, the club he left to pursue his European dream.
Ideguchi came to Leeds in January of 2018 to a lot of fanfare, but he was immediately sent on loan to Cultural Leonesa in Spain’s second division. His time in Spain was not exactly a success, as he made only five appearances in total, only playing 107 minutes.
After Leonesa was relegated at the end of the season, he headed back to Leeds to try and win a spot under new manager Marcelo Bielsa, but it was quickly determined that he wasn’t going to be in the plans of the club, and he was sent on loan to Greuther Furth in the 2.Bundesliga, with the club agreeing to a deal to make the deal permanent at the end of the season.
However, as luck would have it, Ideguchi suffered a knee injury at Greuther Furth early in the season, and he was only able to make eight appearances in all competitions for the German club, and the club did not activate the option to make his deal permanent.
We’ll probably never know if Ideguchi could have had success in Europe or at Leeds, but it was a gamble to sign him and gambles don’t always pay off. Despite the hype at Leeds surrounding his signature, the deal wasn’t for a lot of money and whatever money is heading back to Leeds isn’t going to be very much. He was handed a rather lengthy contract after signing with Leeds, so this deal is probably for the best for everyone involved.
Ideguchi is still only 22 years old, so there is a chance that he still makes a World Cup roster, and if he does, we’ll all wonder what could have been.