Wolves have snapped up promising British-Chinese midfielder Hong Wan on a two-year deal. The 18-year-old is set to join Rob Edwards’ successful Under-23s squad for the start of next season.
Croydon-born Hong spent almost 10 years in Charlton Athletic’s academy before switching to Yeovil when he was 16, helping The Glovers reach the club’s highest level of youth football, and captaining their Under-18s.
Hong, who is of Chinese and Malaysian heritage, played development games for Luton Town towards the end of the season, but is now delighted to move to Wolves.
“It’s a great opportunity and I’m very grateful to have been given a chance to be at such a great club,” he told www.wolves.co.uk
“We’ve all seen how well Wolves have played this season – not just the first-team but the under-23s as well – and it’s certainly a club on the rise. It’s a great feeling to be part of it.
“I was captain of the Under-18s at Yeovil Town last season and we had a good run where we reached the highest ever placing of the club at that age group, so I had a very good season there, but I’m excited to now be here at Wolves.”
Charlton Athletic Academy coach Peter Lodge tweeted this about Hong: “Without a doubt the best Number 4 (midfielder) I have had the pleasure in developing.”
Hong is expected to join up with Wolves’ development team when they return from their summer break next month, but he has already trained with the Under-23s.
The midfielder added: “I would love to crack on and get myself in and around the Under-23s next season, hopefully break into the team, and then I hope to make the step-up into the first-team.
“Being in and around the first-team at Wolves would be brilliant. From the short time I’ve been here you can already see the high standards of the club. To reach Europe in their first season in the Premier League is outstanding and you can see the club is in the ascendancy.
“It’s just a great thing to be part of and I can’t wait to get started.”
Academy manager Scott Sellars says the club’s owners Fosun want to give an opportunity to Chinese talent if possible – provided they are good enough.
“Throughout the Academy, we have an objective to develop players not just for the first-team at Wolves, but also for a future career in professional football, and due to our ownership under Fosun, there is a large emphasis on developing young and talented Chinese players,” he said.
“With every player we look at bringing in to the Academy, first and foremost they must have the ability. Hong’s been training with us recently and definitely has the ability, but he also has a great personality and clearly loves playing football.
“We’re hoping he’s going to bring these qualities to Wolves and expect him to fit in well with the programme we have in place in the Academy.
“In all aspects, this deal works for everybody as we are bringing in a player who we believe has a lot of potential and we can also give him the time at Wolves which he needs to develop into a promising player.”