Wolves hunting a Chinese superstar says Laurie Dalrymple
Wolves plan to help develop the next generation of Chinese footballers – and hope to bring through a superstar of their own as they try and exploit the lucrative Chinese market.
The club will send coaches to China in a bid to integrate their style of play at grassroots level.
Academy boss Scott Sellars was in the country last week and it's thought Wolves will make a concerted effort to help develop the game in China.
Managing director Laurie Dalrymple told the Express & Star that bringing through a young Chinese star to progress through to Wolves' first-team would be the perfect scenario.
"We want to help and play a major contributing role to developing Chinese football at grassroots level," he said.
"Equally if we could bring someone here, under our umbrella – and there's a clear pathway here to take academy players to the first team as we've shown with players like Morgan Gibbs-White and there have been a regular number of under-23s around the first-team this season – then absolutely that would be the perfect utopia, bringing someone from the grassroots environment in China to our thriving academy and then first-team structure here in the UK."
Wolves currently have four players either from China or with links to the country in their academy or under-23 setups – Dongda He, Ming-Yang Yang, David Wang and Hong Wan.
As well as through football, Wolves are keen to spread their name and brand in China. They will also compete in the Premier League Asia Trophy in Shanghai and Nanjing next month, while a Wolves megastore is due to open in Shanghai.
"Our China team is working strategically around youth development, finding ways to partner with organisations that will allow our Wolves method of coaching and style of play to be integrated at grassroots level," Dalrymple added.
"That's both through our foundation, which has done huge amounts of work in China, and through key youth development strategies, but also through merchandising, retail and fashion.
"We feel that will broaden our opportunities to spread the Wolves brand .
"There'll be opportunities in the near future that will give us the chance to do that.
"We've launched eSports in China through the Wolves brand and we've done other key content-based activities like the academy group that came over to Compton."