Owen Otasowie transfer: Win-win for player and clubs

Owen Otasowie, the 20-year-old midfielder who debuted for the USA in November 2020, has been transferred from Wolves to Belgian champion Club Brugge.

The deal is a win-win for both the player and two clubs.

Otasowie, who was in New York to Nigerian parents and raised in England, played six times for Wolves in 2020-21 but was expected to again see limited minutes again in 2021-22.

He will join Club Brugge, which will play in the UEFA Champions League group stage, creating plenty of opportunities for playing time. His contract runs through the 2024-25 season.

He was entering the last year of his contract -- Wolves also had an option year -- so the estimated $4.7 million transfer fee is a windfall for Wolves, given the current market for Premier League teams looking to unload players in Europe.

Technical director Scott Sellars told the Express & Star:
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Owen to further his career. Our academy brought a boy from London at 15 and really developed him to become a full international and play in Premier League, which shows the great work being done here. Our job is to develop players to fulfill their potential. If it’s to play in our first-team then great, but it is obviously very difficult to make the grade in the Premier League, so if it means we’ll develop them and sell them, that is an important part of our strategy as well. In this case we have worked hard to develop Owen as a player and a person, and we have turned a young prospect into a multi-million pound player, and that will only benefit the Wolves Academy and our other young players coming through.”

Like most Belgian teams, Club Brugge is an active buyer and seller. It received almost $30 million for the  transfers of highly regarded Ivorian center back Odilon Kossounou (Bayer Leverkusen) and Nigerian forward Emmanuel Dennis (Watford). The Otasowie deal raises Club Brugge's summer spending to about $22 million following the acquisition of Dutchman winger Noa Lang (Ajax), Frenchman defender Stanley Nsoki (Nice) and Ukrainian defender Eduard Sobol (Shakhtar Donetsk).

Club Brugge coach Philippe Clement:
“Owen is an athletic midfielder who has played both defensively and slightly [forward] at Wolverhampton. He’s someone with the potential to play in a variety of positions. He has an athletic profile, is young, and can make a lot of progress. We convinced him with the project that is here. You should not underestimate that, but Club Brugge is also gaining more and more prestige abroad because of our training.”

Other Americans in Belgium's Pro League are Mark McKenzie (Genk), Sam Vines (Royal Antwerp) and Chris Durkin (Sint-Truiden).
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