WOLVERHAMPTON, England (AP) — Japan midfielder Hayao Kawabe joined Wolverhampton from Swiss team Grasshoppers on Wednesday.
Wolves could send the 26-year-old Kawabe back on loan to Grasshoppers for the rest of the season, though he will train with the Premier League team in January. Both clubs are owned by Chinese investment firm Fosun.
Kawabe, who made his senior international debut in March, becomes the first Japanese player at Wolves.
Wolves technical director Scott Sellars said the club made a move to buy Kawabe this month because the player might not have been granted a visa in the future in light of changing criteria following Britian's departure from the European Union.
“Naturally, Hayao is a player we’ve watched a lot and he’s done really well this season," Sellars said. “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."
Kawabe joined Grasshoppers from Sanfrecce Hiroshima last year.
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
The Associated Press