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Laurens de Bock has admitted that he jumped at the chance to cut short his Leeds United career and return to Belgium with Zulte Waregam last week, while speaking to Het Nieuwsblad.

After two years, seven Championship appearances and three loan spells, the £1.5 million left-back appears to have finally departed Elland Road for good.

Zulte Waregam have signed De Bock on an initial temporary deal, but there is an expectation that the move will be made permanent at the end of 2020/21.

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A man who played Champions League football and won trophies aplenty at Club Brugge moved to West Yorkshire during the final few weeks of the Thomas Christiansen regime but, once Marcelo Bielsa shuffled his way onto the touchline, De Bock found himself on the scrapheap.

The Belgian didn’t get a look in under an enigmatic Argentine, despite the fact that left-back remains something of a problem position for the Premier League newcomers.

So no wonder De Bock felt that the opportunity to return home was too good to turn down.

“I really wanted to come back to Belgium and when Essevee (Zulte Waregam) knocked on the door, I didn’t hesitate for a moment,” he says with a dismal spell at Sunderland also fresh in the mind.

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“Essevee always gave me the impression to be a very warm and family club, which also radiates ambition.

“That was very important to me: I wanted to go to a team that immediately made me feel good.

“It was not an easy time (in England). I ended up with clubs at Leeds and Sunderland where the situation was not always stable at the time. 

“Anyway, it is an experience that no one takes away from me. Now is the time to fight back.”

Zulte Waregam have a history when it comes to handing out-of-favour players a fresh start in the Jupiler League, having offered Saido Berahino a loving home after the striker’s miserable spell at Stoke City came to an end.

Photo by JASPER JACOBS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

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