When links started appearing between Leeds United and Aspire, with Cultural Leonesa the obvious signal, the Spanish press went straight out from the beginning and reported it as an official thing.
In England there was a lot of smoke and mirrors until Leeds United recently announced the link up, but now there’s a new angle of confusion.
On January 5th, KAS Eupen, another Aspire club, announced the arrival of Yuta Toyokwa on loan from Leeds United. There was a picture, it was an official announcement, all quite normal.
Eupen explained: ‘Yuta Toyokawa is 23 years old, 1.73 metres tall and is changing from Japanese second division side Fagiono Okayama to Leeds United. The club from the 2nd English League lends Yuta Toyokawa to the KAS Eupen.’
The story was carried throughout the Belgian media and that was that. A very much Aspire looking deal, and not one for Leeds fans to be overly bothered with because there’s a good chance he’ll never actually set foot on the Elland Road pitch.
Then came something quite odd. Leeds United denied the deal.
Leeds United say they have not signed striker Yuta Toyokawa despite Eupen’s claim they are loaning him from #lufc
— Adam Pope (@APOPEY) January 5, 2018
Since then there’s been no clarification, no retraction from Eupen, and the signing statement remains on their website.
Toyokawa is currently training with Eupen at Aspire’s Doha academy (of course) and in the local media there he’s repeatedly presented as a loanee from Leeds United.
He’s no longer registered with Kashima Antlers, who apparently cancelled his loan with Fagiono Okoyama to send him to Leeds United, he is, however, still listed on the Fagiono Okoyama website.
Reports mentioning the player in Belgium, including from Gazet van Antwerpen, continue to say he’s signed on loan from Leeds United and the presented denial hasn’t made a shred of difference.
Perhaps this is all part of Aspire Dreams.