Yosuke Ideguchi makes clear Leeds regrets as Japan star secures Celtic transfer

James Marshment
Yosuke Ideguchi Japan December 2019

Yosuke Ideguchi is determined to grab his second chance at British football with both hands after the former Leeds United man secured a £850,000 move to Scottish giants Celtic.

We reported last month how the Bhoys were closing on the signing of the former Leeds man, having agreed a deal with Gamba Osaka. Now that deal has gone through and the player is back in Britain, having passed a medical and agreed personal terms.

The move represents a second chance in the UK for Ideguchi. He joined Leeds in December 2018 from Osaka, but never managed an appearance for the Whites. Indeed, he was allowed to make a number of loan moves away before Marcelo Bielsa’s arrival as boss ultimately led to a permanent return to Japan.

However, he is very much looking to make up for lost time having secured a switch to Glasgow.

Posting on the Osaka website, Ideguchi reflected on his past spell at Leeds and his aims at Celtic.

“The first overseas challenge [at Leeds] did not work. I felt my lack of power because of my regrets,” Ideguchi said.

“I’m moving to Celtic this time. I will do my best to be active and deliver good news to everyone.”

Yosuke Ideguchi regrets

Ideguchi also expressed his regret at failing to help Osaka finish higher than 13th in the recently-concluded J-League campaign.

“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.

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“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.”

Celtic also sign two more Japanese stars

Ideguchi isn’t the only Japanese star to sign for Ange Postecoglou’s outfit.

Indeed, they also announced the signings of Reo Hatate, a 24-year-old utility player, and forward Daizen Maeda, also 24.

The trio all arrived in a triple announcement from the Bhoys, who will hope the trio can make an impact in the second half of the season.

The Hoops are currently second in the Scottish Premiership table. They trail leaders and defending champions Rangers by six points, with both sides having played 20 games so far.

Having already secured work permits, the trio will immediately be available to Postecoglou.

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