Yosuke Ideguchi voices Leeds United 'regrets' after sealing transfer back to British football

Yosuke Ideguchi says his Leeds United 'regrets' left him feeling a 'lack of power' after signing for Scottish Premiership side Celtic.

By Joe Urquhart
Saturday, 1st January 2022, 11:39 am
Updated Saturday, 1st January 2022, 11:40 am

The 25-year-old midfielder has sealed a move to British football for a second time, joining the Hoops north of the border.

The Japan international arrived at Elland Road for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £500,000, from Gamba Osaka in January 2018.

Ideguchi put pen to paper on a four-and-a-half year deal with the Whites and became the club's first ever Japanese player though the move didn't work out for either party.

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He spent time on loan in Spain with Cultural Leonesa and had an injury disrupted spell in Bundesliga 2 at Greuther Furth before it became clear that he would not be part of Marcelo Bielsa's plans moving forward.

Despite featuring in pre-season in 2018-19, Ideguchi failed to make a competitive first team appearance for Leeds as he departed West Yorkshire back to his former J-League outfit just 18 months after joining.

Ideguchi, though, has now secured a switch to Britain once again with Ange Postecoglou's outfit and is aiming for a more successful spell this time around.

“The first overseas challenge [at Leeds] did not work. I felt my lack of power because of my regrets," Ideguchi told the Gamba Osaka website in a goodbye message.

Former Leeds United midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi. Pic: Leeds United

"I'm moving to Celtic this time. I will do my best to be active and deliver good news to everyone."

Ideguchi also moved to apologise to Gamba Osaka supporters for underperforming in Japan, having seen the club finish in 13th-place earlier this month.

"I'm sorry I couldn't report directly to the fans, supporters, and people involved in Gamba Osaka. I'm really sorry that I couldn't perform well as an individual this season," he added.

"I wanted to help the team as much as possible next season, but at this time I got the chance to move and decided to transfer.

“I have been indebted to Gamba Osaka for about 12 years. Even in bad times, I was really supported and grew up as a person and a soccer player. If I hadn't been in Gamba Osaka, I wouldn't be myself now. I really love this club and it's like a family. I will continue to support you as a fan of Gamba, and I dream of returning to Gamba Osaka someday.

“It's been a long time, but thank you very much. And thank you for your help."