If Leeds United wanted to keep Yosuke Ideguchi at Elland Road and make him part of their plans they had the option to do just that.
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, the Japanese international received the necessary work permit as far back as January, allowing him to play Championship football for the West Yorkshire club.
It is telling, then, that Leeds have since loaned Ideguchi out twice. The former Gamba Osaka midfielder, who moved to Leeds for £500,000 in 2017, was sent to sister club Cultural Leonesa in the winter and, after failing to make an impact in Spain, headed to Germany with second tier side Greuther Furth.
But Ideguchi has now perhaps suffered the biggest blow yet to his Leeds United prospects.
According to Greuther Furth’s official website, the 22-year-old has torn his cruciate ligament, meaning he could miss up to nine months if he needs surgery to correct the problem.
As a result, Ideguchi is likely to miss the rest of the season, which is a cruel blow considering he had just started to make an impact in Germany, starting three games and scoring in a 4-1 thrashing of Holstein Kiel.
Ideguchi needed to impress in the 2.Bundesliga to have any chance of winning over Marcelo Bielsa a la Mateusz Klich. But a prolonged injury absence means he might have played his last game for Greuther Furth.
As it stands, it seems unlikely that Ideguchi will ever play for Leeds either. And, after being omitted from Japan’s World Cup squad, Ideguchi’s once promising international career could lie in tatters too.
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