ENGLISH Premier Soccer League side, Wolverhampton Wanderers, yesterday hailed Zimbabwean teenager, Tawanda Chirewa, as a talented match winner with the potential to make a difference at the club.
The 19-year-old Chirewa joined the Wolves Under-21 team.
He joined Wolves from Ipswich Town in the Championship and becomes the second player to link-up with James Collins’ side for 2023/24 following the earlier arrival of Matty Whittingham.
Ipswich said they received compensation from Wolves.
“The Club can confirm Tawanda Chirewa has joined Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Town receiving an undisclosed compensation fee.
“After making his Town debut as a 15-year-old in an EFL Trophy clash with Colchester in 2019, Tawanda ultimately made a total of three senior appearances for the Club, all in cup competitions.
“He has now joined Premier League side Wolves, with the Club wishing him well for the future,” said Ipswich in a statement.
Chirewa made his senior debut for Ipswich in November 2019, appearing as a second half substitute against Colchester United in an EFL Trophy group stage fixture.
He became the second youngest player to feature for the Tractor Boys, behind Connor Wickham, aged just 16 years and 31 days old.
In July 2020, Chirewa signed a two-year scholarship deal at Portman Road and was then rewarded with a first professional contract four months later.
Wolves Academy manager for football, Jon Hunter-Barrett, explained how Chirewa has been on the club’s radar for some time and said:
“It’s one that we’re delighted to get over the line. We’ve been watching Tawanda for a while now, since the age of 16, and monitoring his progress before picking the right opportunity to approach and get him across for his services.
“His key qualities are his handling of the ball in tight areas and an ability to get the team up the pitch to create and score from deep areas.
“As always, with one of our key strategies of looking at loan opportunities for our players at the right time, the departures of Harvey (Griffiths) and Alfie (Pond) and steady progression of one or two others into the first-team squad, it was important we strengthened our under-21s to ensure they have the ability to compete throughout the season.”
Head of UK academy recruitment, Harry Hooman, added:
“Tawanda is someone we have liked and monitored for a long time, dating back to when he was an under-16. Although nothing happened at the time, we continued to monitor his development closely over the last few seasons.
“He is an athletic, talented player with the ability to score and create goals. He wants to get on the ball and is not afraid to take responsibility and take risks to make things happen.
“We feel he has the attributes and potential to do well for us both in the short and long-term. This is a fresh challenge for him and we are excited to see him kick on again with us.”