Premier League • England

Wolves club chief raves about January signing of exciting international star

Hayao Kawabe, Grasshoppers, September 2021.

Wolves’ technical director Scott Sellars has raved about new singing Hayao Kawabe, as he explained the decision to sign the promising Japanese talent.

The attacking midfielder joins Wolves from Grasshoppers in the Swiss Super League following his impressive half-season there.

Kawabe has scored four goals and assisted a further two in 16 Super League games this season. What’s more, he has equalled his highest ever goalscoring season, just halfway through the campaign.

The Japanese is in arguably the best period of his career. He made his Japan debut in March 2021, and scored on his second appearance for the Samurai Blue in June.

As such, it makes sense as to why Wolves have taken the plunge to sign the 26-year-old. Sellars was clearly excited about the project of bringing the star to the club.

“Naturally, Hayao is a player we’ve watched a lot and he’s done really well this season,” he said via Wolves’ official website.

“He’s an attacking midfield player, very energetic, very busy, and has good quality. He’s really shone at Grasshoppers this year, and he’s one of the main reasons they’re doing so well.”

Wolves boss Bruno Lage will be given the opportunity to assess Kawabe in the winter. Furthermore, he will likely return to Grasshoppers on loan after the Super League’s winter break is over.

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“Hayao will spend January with Bruno’s group while the Swiss Super League is on a winter break, then he’ll likely return to Grasshoppers to finish the season there, as he has been an important player for them so far this season,” Sellars added.

Indeed, Wolves will hope the 26-year-old continues his stellar form, and returns to Wolves fresh, and raring to gain a spot in the side for next season.

Kawabe to join elite Premier League cohort

Takehiro Tomiyasu, Takumi Minamino, Arsenal v Liverpool November 2021.

Kawabe will become just the 11th Japanese player to make a Premier League appearance. Of course, that relies on him playing for Wolves, which looks likely given Sellars’ positive comments since the signing.

Takumi Minamino and Takehiro Tomiyasu are the only current Japanese Premier League players.

Indeed, Arsenal have uncovered a gem in Tomiyasu, who has been one of their standout players this season. Club legend Ian Wright has sung his praises.

“He’s a very shrewd signing. He’s been magnificent,” he said.

Should Kawabe have a similar effect in the Premier League, Wolves will be more than happy.

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