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Yosuke Ideguchi’s January gamble could cost him World Cup spot

The Japan international is struggling for football at Cultural Leonesa, where he is on loan from Leeds United.

Mathew Nash

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Completing a transfer in January is always something of a risky move from any player and Leeds United newbie Yosuke Ideguchi is currently finding that out the hard way.

Leeds snapped up the 21-year-old Japan international in January from Gamba Osaka. The deal, which the Sun reported was worth around £500,000, looked a steal for the promising midfielder.

Unfortunately, he was not eligible for a UK work permit and was loaned out to Spanish second-tier side Cultural Leonesa until the end of the season.

 (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

It is fair to say things in Spain have not gone to plan.

The Leeds-owned midfielder has struggled to settle into life in Spain. His performances have suffered and Ideguchi is not currently a first-team regular at the Estadio Reino de Leon. Ideguchi has started just one game for the side, who currently sit in the relegation zone and could face life in the Spanish third tier next season.

 (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)

Now he could pay the ultimate price for his post-Leeds woes, missing out on a World Cup spot. Ideguchi has been dropped by Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic ahead of the upcoming friendlies with Mali and Ukraine. He is quoted by the Japan Times as stating:

“Some players are not getting game time at their clubs.

“Some are not even getting on the bench. It makes me sad that Asano and Ideguchi are not playing.”

It would be a massive blow for Ideguchi if he did not make it on the plane to Russia. He was pivotal to Japan qualifying for the competition – scoring in the crunch game v Australia that booked the Samurai Blue’s place at the championships.

Making the move to Leeds was supposed to signal the next advancement in Ideguchi’s career. Unfortunately, it appears a move to the west might have come too soon for the player.

In hindsight, remaining in Japan until after the World Cup would have been a smarter move from the 21-year-old talent.

Now he faces a real fight to get back in the Japan fold and earn a work permit. Then he will need to improve greatly if he is to become a regular at Leeds United next season.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

Nottingham Forest

What role can Daryl Murphy play at Nottingham Forest next season?

The Nottingham Forest striker faces an interesting year at the City Ground.

Mathew Nash

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When Nottingham Forest snapped up Daryl Murphy last summer it looked like a coup for the club. Signed for a fee in the region of £2 million from Newcastle United fans were excited about the Republic of Ireland star’s arrival.

They had good reason to be excited. Murphy had just played a role in Newcastle United’s promotion to the Premier League. He had been scoring goals for fun at Ipswich Town. Murphy netted 27 goals in 2014-15 and in the previous three seasons had scored a total of 50 goals.

But last season was a struggle for the Irishman. Injury hampered his debut season at Forest. Despite scoring six goals in his first 11 games for the club, it soon turned sour.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

He scored just once more in 20 more games for Forest and featured just six times in 2018.


“It was a tough season last season for Daryl. So far he has been training really, really well and he looks confident; he looks strong – although he has always been strong.

“I was really pleased, because he is doing really well and he is a player who can help us a lot.”

– Aitor Karanka speaking in July


So does he have a future at the club?

Forest have improved their attacking options immensely this summer. The arrival of El Arbi Hillel Soudani and Lewis Grabban has added massive firepower up top. With youngster Ben Brereton also fighting for a first-team spot with Joe Lolley capable of playing up top, Murphy has a job on his hands.

At 35-years-old he may find himself happy with a bit-part impact role at the City Ground. He may have to because it does not seem he will be a starter next season.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves’ incoming recruit Joao Moutinho was once targeted as Luka Modric replacement

Wolves are set to sign the Portugal star for just £5 million.

Mathew Nash

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In many ways, Wolverhampton Wanderers’ impending deal to sign Joao Moutinho from Monaco is no surprise. The Portuguese international is a client of Jorge Mendes who has helped bring many stars to Molineux in recent months.

On the other hand, it is a massive shock. Moutinho only signed a new deal with Monaco at the end of March. Then there is the price-tag. According to Sky Sports, the deal is worth £5 million between the two clubs.

Moutinho has, in the past, been valued considerably higher.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

When Tottenham Hotspur agreed on a deal to sign him in 2012 the fee was £24 million. In the end, he decided he did not want to leave Porto that summer leaving Tottenham without a Luka Modric replacement.  

He ended up joining Monaco a year later for a similar fee and over the years has been heralded as one of European football’s more understated midfield dynamos.

Considering Everton are about to pay ten times as much to bring in Richarlison from Watford, it highlights how good a deal this is for Wolves.

Moutinho succeeds nearly everywhere he plays, even on an international level where he won Euro 2016 with his nation. But even if he doesn’t at Wolves, the price-tag is so low it was worth the risk.

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Leeds United

Leeds United round-up: Saiz wanted, Vydra and Hernandez deals rumble on, Machuca unveiled

All the latest news and gossip from Leeds United.

Mathew Nash

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Saiz-able offer

Leeds United are fending off admirers in Spanish talent Samuel Saiz. According to Fichajes, he was wanted by three La Liga clubs this summer. The talented playmaker has courted the interest of former club Huesca, Getafe and Valencia.

The latter are said to have made a bid of £8.9 million for his services, whilst Getafe have also made Leeds an offer.

However, the report claims that Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has absolutely no desire to sell the 27-year-old, who he sees as key to Leeds’ hopes this season.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Demands must change

Leeds have not yet given up on signing either Matej Vydra or Abel Hernandez this summer, according to YEP journalist Phil Hay.

Leeds offered a contract to free agent Hernandez and had a £11 million bid accepted for Czech talent Vydra.

However, both could not agree on personal terms with Leeds as finances proved a major stumbling block.

Hay claims that no deal will go through unless either player drops their demands.

Machuca unveiled

Alejandro Machuca has been unveiled by his new club, after leaving Leeds on loan. The under-23 star has joined Burgos of Spain’s third-tier for the upcoming season.

The attacker was signed last July from Rayo Vallecano and played a prominent role in Carlos Corberan’s team last season.

He will now hope for regular football back in Spain.

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