Leeds talent chief praises mystery 'signing' Toyokawa after incredible 16 minute hat-trick

A general view of Elland Road Stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Elland Road on October 17, 2015 in Leeds, England.

Did Leeds sign Yuta Toyokawa? If not, they may wish they had.

A general view of Elland Road Stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Elland Road on October 17, 2015 in Leeds, England.

Leeds United signed so many under-23 players in January it was at one point hard to keep up.

One confusing deal involved Yuta Toyokawa.

Belgian side KAS Eupen announced ontheir official website on January 5 that they had signed Yuta Toyokawa on loan from Leeds United - which was a mystery as Toyokawa was not even a Leeds player.

Eupen and Leeds are linked by Qatar's Aspire Academy, with the Belgium club financed by the company, belonging to Leeds director Ivan Bravo.

The Express reported that Leeds later denied Toyokawa had signed with them.

Andrea Radrizzani, Owner of Leeds United (3R) looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Leeds United at Ashton Gate on October 21, 2017 in Bristol, England.

Either way, Toyokawa clinched his move to Belgium, and no tears were shed in Leeds whether he signed or not.

A 23-year-old striker with an average record in Japanese football, he did not seem like the answer to their problems and may never be.

But at the weekend he did something which should jolt their interest.

Having made three substitute appearances for Eupen so far without a goal, not much was expected when he came on in the 57th minute against Royal Mouscron on Sunday with the game at 0-0.

Toyokawa then proceeded to take his opponents apart, netting a hat-trick in the space of 16 minutes - with goals in the 73rd, 80th, and 89th minute.

For good measure he provided an assist too in the 76th minutes, inspiring a 4-0 win.

His goals ensured Eupen avoided relegation on goal difference, and the deal on their part suddenly looks inspired.

Perhaps coincidentally, there was a Leeds man present watching it all transpire.

Leeds' head of football development for Asia, Toshiya Fujitsu, was in Belgium to watch the game.

He posted on Twitter: "Tokoyawa great success. Coincidentally excited to see his hat-trick at the stadium. A Japanese player who gave a wonderful present to support was proudest. Congratulations Toyokawa!"

Whether he ever makes it to Leeds, who knows, but Tokoyawa has made more impact in 16 minutes than the player they did definitely sign, his compatriot Yosuke Ideguchi, has done so far over the last month out on loan at Cultural Leonesa.

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