Yosuke Ideguchi’s miserable 2018 has been worsened by a serious knee injury suffered on loan at German club Greuther Furth.
The Japan international, who moved to Bundesliga 2 from Leeds United in August, looks set to miss much of this season after Greuther Furth confirmed he had ruptured a knee ligament in a 1-0 win over Dynamo Dresden on Sunday.
Ideguchi was making only his third start but was hurt after 29 minutes and has been diagnosed with a torn posterior cruciate ligament, the same injury which will rule Leeds striker Patrick Bamford out until the new year.
Greuther Furth coach Damir Buric: “We all feel for Yosuke and we’re very sad that he will be out because of this serious injury.
“We’ll support him as much as possible from the club's side and wish him all the best a good recovery.”
Ideguchi’s setback rounds off a deeply frustrating year in which he earned a £500,000 January move from Gamba Osaka to Leeds United but lost his way quickly.
He was sent on loan to Spanish club Cultural Leonesa during the second half of last season but barely played amid Cultural’s unsuccessful fight to avoid relegation to the Spanish third division and his lack of involvement cost him a place in Japan’s squad for the World Cup, despite Ideguchi featuring heavily in qualification.
The 22-year-old appeared sporadically under new Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa during pre-season but was then deemed surplus by the Argentinian and moved to Greuther Furth on a year-long loan shortly before the transfer deadline. He scored on his second outing in Germany, in a 4-1 win over Holstein Kiel.
Ideguchi has four years left on his contract at Elland Road but his career in England is already in doubt without him making a single competitive appearance.
Speaking about his decision to overlook Ideguchi, Bielsa said: "Usually I choose two players for each position so they have a possibility to play. I’m going to be sincere. He’s not a second option in any position of our team so it wouldn’t be fair for me to say I want him to stay because I couldn’t offer him the time as a player he deserves."