Leeds United midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi has made the preliminary Japan squad for the World Cup in Russia this summer. Ideguchi’s place was in serious doubt until a change of manager and he is now expected to make the 23-man squad when the cut takes place.
There will be much intrigue around Ideguchi this summer from Leeds. The deal was high-profile in January and it has backfired massively so far in terms of what’s happened since his arrival. Ideguchi arrived from Japan in a £500k deal and he was expected to fail to gain a work permit. As it happened he did gain the permit but Leeds had already decided to loan him to Ivan Bravo’s Cultural Leonesa in the Spanish second tier. Ideguchi went straight out but didn’t make an impact as Cultural struggled to survive, in fact he barely got a game in the side.
The youngster is highly rated back in Japan but the lack of first-team football meant he was dropped from the national side, Leeds’ move to loan him out to keep him playing games looking to be a decision that would cost him his place at the World Cup. However it seems that a change in manager at the last minute has given Ideguchi a great chance of making the squad. He has been named in the Preliminary squad and sources in Japan expect him to make the final squad in the coming weeks.