Another American player is on the move. Owen Otasowie is joining Club Brugge in Belgium. The 20-year-old U.S. international signed a “four-year contract” through June of 2025. According to The Athletic, Wolverhampton received a transfer fee of £3.5 million ($4.7 million).
“Owen is an athletic midfielder who has played both defensively and slightly [forward] at Wolverhampton,” said Brugge manager Philippe Clement in a recent press conference. “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.”
Following a brief spell with West Ham, Otasowie joined the Wolves academy in 2017. Overcoming serious injury issues, he made six Premier League appearances last season but was not in the squad for the final five matches of his tenure. His former technical director referred to the transfer as a “great move for all parties” after carefully “considering the bid.” A new manager and preseason hamstring issue possibly hastened his exit.
Brugge is currently the dominant club in Belgium, having won four of the last six league titles. This season, the Blauw-Zwart (Blue-Black) qualified directly for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. Clement, who recently turned down jobs at Sheffield United and Schalke 04, is in his third year and prefers the 4-3-3 formation.
Otasowie is an interesting prospect with a high ceiling but still a largely unknown quantity. He is a versatile player and can play a variety of positions but has yet to demonstrate a true affinity and dominance at defender or midfielder. Belgium is rapidly becoming one of the world’s top markets for developing talents, with Brugge routinely selling at a profit. For the club to make such a relatively large investment in the American teenager, management clearly believes in his current fit on the field and future transfer value.
Otasowie has received one cap for the USMNT. He appeared in a scoreless draw against Wales in November of 2020. The tri-national is also eligible to represent England and Nigeria.
Is this a good move for Otasowie? Let us know in the comment section.