Yahoo Japan have claimed that Leeds United midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi could be about to leave the club on a permanent basis this summer, and rejoin former side Gamba Osaka.
Leeds signed the 22-year-old Japan international in January 2018, with the plan being to send him out on loan to a European side so he could impress – and earn a place in Japan’s World Cup side.
However, Ideguchi flopped at second-tier Spanish side Cultural Leonesa during those six months, managing just five appearances between January and the summer. He failed to play for Japan at the World Cup.
He went on loan to German side Greuther Furth for the 2018-19 campaign, but suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury. It limited him to just eight appearances, in which he did show signs of improvement.
His Leeds career looks very unlikely to kickstart under Marcelo Bielsa, and the latest report claims Gamba Osaka are in talks with Leeds and have presented a contract offer to Ideguchi.
The midfielder played 96 times for Gamba Osaka before joining Leeds, impressing enough to earn a place in Japan’s national side by scoring nine goals and laying on 10 assists. He has two years left on his Leeds contract.
Gamba Osaka are currently struggling in Japan’s J-League, sitting in second-to-last 17th place in the top tier after 15 league games.
Unfortunately, it just has not worked for Ideguchi. The timing was wrong and last season’s long-term injury did not help. The potential is there and he has shown that in Germany, but Elland Road is not the place for that talent.
A return to his home country to regain his confidence and get some momentum back is crucial now, for Ideguchi. He must opt to do that instead of going out on loan again and struggling in a new side.