The 26-year-old will be in Wolves, their first Japanese player after having an outstanding first half-season of European soccer with Grasshoppers, the team that Wolves have started a ‘feeder club’ partnership with in the year 2020.
Kawakbe scored 4 goals and helped three goals as an attacking midfielder during his 18 games in Switzerland since his move to this club in Sanfrecce Hiroshima last summer.
The player made his first debut in a senior Japan team in a match against South Korea in March 2021. He has so far made four international appearances and scored his debut goal with Japan in the World Cup qualifying victory over Tajikistan in June.
Now, the midfielder heads to Molineux on a three-and-a-half-year deal. He will be training in January with Bruno Lage’s squad since his team in the Swiss Super League is now taking a break for winter and is scheduled to return to Grasshoppers on loan at the end of the month.
Wolves Technical director Scott Sellars said:
“He’s an attacking midfielder extremely energetic, active, and of good quality. He’s shined for Grasshoppers this season and is one of the reasons they’re performing very well.
“Due in accordance with the GBE requirements to sign international players, Hayao is a player legally eligible to sign with the British club this month, so we’ve decided to confirm the signing.
“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.”
This follows Wolves Defender Toti Gomes returning Wolves from Grasshoppers to begin training this month before returning to Switzerland for his loan period.
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