The Leeds United transfer saga surrounding Yosuke Ideguchi hit overdrive this week when the 21-year-old was snubbed from the Japan squad.
With 12 caps under his belt for his country, it seemed a near certainty the midfielder would be handed another chance to shine for his country ahead of the World Cup in this month’s friendly fixtures, but it was not meant to be.
His lack of playing time at Cultural Leonesa, where he was shipped out on loan immediately after signing for Leeds in January, seems to have cost him his place in the national side, and there could be every chance he will miss out on representing Japan in Russia over the summer.
It was a bizarre decision to send him over to Spain after he was handed the necessary paperwork to play in England, but he still linked up with the second tier side – and it has been something of a nightmare for him since.
He has managed just five appearances for Leonesa, and Leeds’ choice to send him away in January has been slammed by the Elland Road faithful, calling it a “farce” and “embarrassing”.
However, targeting the board is pointless, considering they thought he would be handed the game time desired in order to aid his development and get him prepared for his eventual arrival at Elland Road.
Really, they need to be having a go at Ideguchi himself, for there has to be a reason why he is not being played at Leonesa.
Whether his performance in training is sub-par, or his decision making during matches is lacking quality, only he and the staff will know, but a Japan international with 12 caps should be able to force himself into the reckoning.
Yes, it looks bad from the outside, but the only man who can make a difference to the 21-year-old’s situation is Ideguchi himself, and criticising the board achieves nothing.
It is time for the midfielder to step up or get left behind; his future for Leonesa, Leeds and Japan depends on it.
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