Yosuke Ideguchi ready to take second chance as he uses Leeds United experience to fuel Celtic success
SHOULD Yosuke Ideguchi succeed at Celtic, there will no doubt be those who will capitalise upon that success in order to denigrate the standard of Scottish football. After all, the midfielder failed to make a single senior appearance at Leeds United after signing back in January 2018, being shipped out on loan twice and then eventually back to Japan.
Four years down the line though, there is little comparison between the player that Ideguchi was back then as a promising 21-year-old to the one he is now, or in fact the person.
Having matured both on and off the pitch, he is confident he is better prepared and better equipped to make the grade in his second crack at British football, a chance he is all too grateful to have been handed by Ange Postecoglou.
“Obviously my second opportunity is different in terms of private life and the football aspect,” Ideguchi said.
“This is my second opportunity to be in a foreign country so this is why I know very well how things work here.
“I would like to take advantage of having the first experience to do better in everything and I would like to have success in my career.
“I’m very excited to play here and I want to adapt as soon as possible so that I can contribute to the team.
“Unfortunately last season in Japan my club didn’t have a good time but since coming back to UK I feel I am recovering good feelings, so I am good.”
Ideguchi didn’t only have a decent idea of what his new surroundings would be like upon his arrival back in the UK, but he also had a good idea of what to expect from Celtic, given the compatriots who have enjoyed playing here before him.
And he thinks that his all-action style will endear him to his new fans.
“I knew very well about Celtic because first Shunsuke Nakamura was playing here, also more recently Kyogo working very well, so I knew very well about the club,” he said.
“I describe myself as a hard-working player. I’m good at stealing the ball and making forward runs. So I would like to show all my [qualities] in front of all Celtic fans every week.
“I think playing that way I can make all the fans happy.”
What may not make those fans happy is seeing their Japanese quartet disappearing for international duty later this month, with their country set to take on China and Saudi Arabia in World Cup qualifying matches.
Though Ideguchi is the most-capped of the Japanese players on Celtic’s books, he hasn’t played for his national side since December 2019, so it may be unlikely he will be called up on this occasion.
“I’m just concentrating on playing with Celtic, and let’s see what happens,” he said.
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