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An experiment gone completely wrong at Leeds United

Yosuke Ideguchi has departed Leeds United after failing to make a single appearance for the club. The Japanese international has seen his career take a turn for the worst after agreeing to join the club and the club itself will write this off as an experiment gone wrong.

In just seven months Ideguchi has basically had to press the restart button on his career. A move to Leeds came with the player being one of the hottest prospects in Asian football. He was the poster boy of the Japanese national team after scoring a crucial goal against Australia in qualifying and was set to be one of the stars of their World Cup in Russia. In come Leeds United.

The intention was extremely clear although the club would never publicly admit it. This was partly to do with signing a good player and more importantly it was what an Asian player could bring commercially to and English club. Leeds certainly aren’t the first to try and fail, but this has had such a negative impact on Ideguchi’s career you do have to feel for him. Due to not being able to gain a work permit Ideguchi was to be loaned to Cultural Leonesa in Spain, but he then gained a work permit…and was still shipped to Spain.

Victor Orta Director of Football at Leeds United and Andrea Radrizzani owner of Leeds United chatting during the EFL Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Utd and Leeds United at Bramall Lane, Sheffield, England on 10 February 2018. Picture by Paul Thompson.

This in itself raised alarm bells because the side wasn’t playing well at all, he was heading to a relegation battle in Spain and the World Cup was just around the corner. He barely kicked a ball as things went from bad to worse at Leonesa, a complete waste of time and all this time Leeds were flopping horribly back in England. What harm would have been done to let him train with the first-team and play him on occasion, he wouldn’t have done much worse than the players who were playing.

This summer saw Ideguchi placed in the second XI by Marcelo Bielsa, an opportunity for him to impress. Mateusz Klich has become a key player from that team, Jamie Shackleton a first-team player and others squad players, is wasn’t a case of writing players off. Ideguchi simply didn’t impress and he appeared for the under 23’s in the first development game of the season. He’s now joined SpVgg Greuther Furth on a season-long-loan with a view to a permanent deal.

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