What’s the link with Grasshoppers?
Grasshoppers, historically the most successful club in Swiss football history, were taken over by a Hong Kong company owned by Jenny Wang, the wife of Fosun boss Gup Guangchang, a year ago having fallen on hard times and been relegated.
Four Wolves players (Leo Bonatini, Connor Ronan, Oskar Buur Rasmussen and Toti Gomes) are currently on loan with the Swiss second tier side.
Former Wolves board member Sky Sun is the club’s president, while Wolves’ ex-chief European scout Bernard Schuiteman had been Grasshoppers’ sporting director before leaving in February.
It’s believed Olofinjana will be named as Schuiteman’s successor in the coming weeks, with the 40-year-old still working at Wolves for now.
What does this mean for Wolves?
Olofinjana became the club’s first ‘loans pathway manager’ two years ago (having previous helped coach at academy and under-23 level) to oversee an expanding group of loan players, who this season include Dion Sanderson (Sunderland), Patrick Cutrone (Valencia), Rafa Mir (Huesca), plus a host of youngsters and the four players at Grasshoppers.
Wolves will look to replace Olofinjana this summer. The ex-Nigeria international midfielder told The Athletic’s weekly Wolves podcast The Molineux View last year that, having achieved two masters qualifications in sporting directorship and project management (not to mention a degree in chemical engineering) he was looking to land a sporting director role.
Moving to Grasshoppers, a club with close ties to Wolves, appears to be ideal.
He said last year: “If I want to be in football, what’s my strength? Where can I apply my knowledge? I think it’s in the admin side, so I told myself I’m going to learn to be a sporting director.
“I can learn and climb the ladder, hence the role as loans manager. For me, it’s a mini sporting director role.”
How are Grasshoppers doing?
They’re top of the Swiss second division and closing in on promotion with five games to go.
Wolves hope to use the partnership to their advantage in the coming years.
(Photo: Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)