Wolves complete first bit of business during January transfer window

Japanese international Hayao Kawabe joins Wanderers on a three-and-a-half year deal

Wolverhampton Wanderers have completed the signing of midfielder Hayao Kawabe from Swiss Super League side Grasshopper Club Zurich for an undisclosed fee.

The 26-year-old who also plays internationally for Japan joins Wolves on a three-and-a-half year deal and will spend January training with Bruno Lage’s side before heading back to Switzerland on loan for the remainder of the campaign.

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At a glance: 5 key points

  • Wolves complete their first piece of January business with the signing of Hayao Kawabe from Swiss Super League Side Grasshopper Club Zurich.
  • Kawabe is a midfielder that also plays internationally for Japan.
  • The 26-year-old is the first Japanese player to make the move to Molineux.
  • Whilst officially undisclosed, the fee is believed to be in the region of £500,000.
  • Kawabe will spend January training with Bruno Lage’s side before heading back to Switzerland for the remainder of the 2021/22 campaign.

What’s been said

Wolves Technical Director Scott Sellars:

“Naturally, Hayao is a player we’ve watched a lot and he’s done really well this season.

“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.

“Due to the GBE criteria for signing international players, Hayao is a player who is eligible to sign for a British club this month, but may not be in the future, which is why we’ve moved now to confirm his 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.”

Grasshoppers Technical Director: Seyi Olofinjana

“After his arrival from Japan, Kawabe adapted surprisingly quickly to Swiss football and integrated very well into the team.

“Under coach Contini he made significant progress and made an important contribution to the progress of the team.

“The fact that the Wolves are committed to have decided on him is further proof of the qualities of Kawabe.

“We are looking forward to welcoming him back to Zurich this month to prepare for the second half of the season.”

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