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Leeds United move briskly to bolster squad with exciting capture of coveted international
Monday, 11th Dec 2017 14:09 by @LucasMonk_

Leeds United have, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post's Phil Hay, concluded an agreement to sign Gamba Osaka's coveted 21-year-old midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi.

Now regarded by many observers as one of the most exceptionally talented Asian players of the present day, Yosuke Ideguchi has emerged from obscurity to become a key figure for both club and country.

Ideguchi, a central midfielder by trade, has already accrued nine caps for Japan in addition to scoring two goals on the international stage against Australia and North Korea respectively.

After an exceedingly fruitful 2017 J1 League campaign - in which the 21-year-old made 30 appearances, scored four goals and assisted six goals for his teammates - Leeds United have moved briskly to secure his signature ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup next summer.

According to Phil Hay of the Yorkshire Evening Post, a deal to sign Ideguchi - for a fee reputed to be in the region of £500,000 - was concluded last Friday after a convening of the United board.

The agreement permits the diminutive Ideguchi, who stands at 1,71 metres, to depart Gamba Osaka for Elland Road in January. Leeds, who had been monitoring Ideguchi's progress intently since the latter stages of this summer, wished to precipitate a move for the midfielder - which could have taken place next summer - as the J1 League season was completed a fortnight ago. Rather than have the player languish in a period of inertia, United would rather he played first-team football.

And play first-team football he will, but not, immediately, for Leeds; Ideguchi has not yet accumulated enough international appearances for Japan to qualify for a work permit that would allow him to play for United upon the completion of his move. Leeds are confident that the player will be able to secure a permit for the 2018-19 season, and intend to determine a loan destination for the player for the remainder of the present campaign.

Ideguchi rose to prominence during Japan's ultimately successful World Cup qualification campaign, with his howitzer against Australia - a goal that came in a terrific 2-0 triumph for Japan - exposing many fans of European football to his abilities. Though United supporters will have to wait until next season to witness the midfielder in the flesh, there is every chance that the precocious Ideguchi will consequently make that wait worthwhile.

Photo: Action Images

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