The clear out at Leeds United continues at pace as Whites defender Laurens De Bock heads back to his native Belgium and to KV Oostende in news confirmed by the top-tier side on their website.
De Bock was a January signing for the Whites, coming in from Club Brugge for a fee thought to be around £1.5million. There was promise in some of his early play yet it is safe to say that he didn’t really endear himself to the Leeds United faithful. Former Belgium Under-21 international De Bock featured in just seven Sky Bet Championship appearances for Leeds United last season, totalling a mere 630 minutes of action before injury led to him being left behind in Paul Heckingbottom’s thoughts.
New manager Marcelo Bielsa has made it blatantly clear that De Bock is not a part of his plans going forward this season, and the former Belgian Under-21 international had been given dispensation to find himself a new club – something which looks to have now been confirmed. Bielsa has pared his squad down to the essential, lean minimum in order to create a hungry side, yet he is open and honest enough to not want to string players along who won’t get regular playing time under him.
KV Oostende’s Sporting Director, Hugo Broos, says of the capture of De Bock on a season-long loan deal: “With De Bock we have an extra trump both in the back and on the flank. Laurens is also a player with many offensive impulses.” De Dock certainly doesn’t fear getting forward, something Leeds United fans saw, fans who were critical of his defensive work and placement.
The deal, which was brokered last night, has met with approval from De Bock who said the following: “There were a number of other opportunities, but I opted for KV Oostende for several reasons. When I came here with Club Brugge Football I found the atmosphere in this stadium always great.”
He went on to add a little something extra to what he said, stating his desire to succeed whilst out on loan. In speaking of this desire, the Leeds United defender (who is under contract at Elland Road until June 2022) said of the move: “I will have to prove myself again here.”
The season-long loan deal is the second one announced for Leeds players deemed as surplus to requirements after an announcement that Japan midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi has signed a similar deal to join SPVGG Greuther Fürth. However, unlike that deal taking Ideguchi to Germany, the deal taking De Bock to Oostende is not thought to have a purchase clause attached.