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Leeds complete signings of Ideguchi and Halme
Thursday, 4th Jan 2018 21:42 by Tim Whelan

And so it begins. The transfer window only opened three days ago, but our worldwide scouting network has already identified two young players to bring into the club.

Ideguchi’s signing has been on the cards for a few months and the club has now confirmed that we’ve agreed a fee with his current club Gamba Osaka. The 21-year-old won’t be eligible for a work permit right away, but the Yorkshire Post have suggested that this won’t be a problem next season, as the criteria are based on international appearances and the ranking of the player’s country.

The highly rated midfielder has 10 caps already and is expected to be selected for Japan’s squad for the World Cup finals. For the time being, Leeds are likely to loan Ideguchi to our partner club Cultural Leonesa, who currently ply their trade in Spain’s ‘La Liga 2’. And he’s taken to social media, to tell us “I will see you soon, Marching On Together.”

Another incoming transfer is 19 year old Aapo Halme, who joins us from Finnish side HJK Helsinki on a four year contract for an undisclosed fee. The 6ft 4in central defender has made 53 appearances for his country’s current champions, and has also represented Finland at Under 19 level.

He’s obviously another one for the future, as the club have already announced he will start his Leeds career with the Under 23 squad. But reports from Finland suggest he’s highly rated over there, and with Thomas Christiansen likely to field a ‘fringe team’ at Newport on Sunday we might get an immediate glimpse of him in action.

Other news is that Tyler Denton has returned from his loan spell at Port Vale, though the club have been at pains to point out this is for personal reasons, and not because he’s seen as the answer to our left back problem. And as he’s already 22, we have to assume that if he was going to break into our first team he would have done so by now.

Denton played 15 games for Vale under Michael Brown but lost his place when Brown was sacked and replaced by Neil Aspin (four of their last five managers were at Leeds at some stage of their playing career). So it’s doubtful he has a long-term future at Leeds, and we’ll probably look to offload him in the summer.

Speaking of left-backs, the Daily Mail seem to think that Reading are interested in taking Cameron Borthwick-Jackson on loan for the rest of the season. The Royals first choice in that position is Jordan Obita, who will be out for the rest of the season due to injury. Borthwick-Jackson has largely been disappointing at Leeds, though he was unlucky to pick up an injury after a decent performance at Leicester in the League Cup.

The signings of Ideguchi and Halme are unlikely to be our last of the transfer window, with a proper left-back likely to be top of the list of priorities. Watch this space.

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