Derby County have moved to sign West Bromwich Albion midfielder George Thorne on loan until the end of the 2013/14 season.
The 21-year-old central midfielder is expected to go straight into the squad for the Rams’ Sky Bet Championship game at Birmingham City this weekend.
An England youth international at Under 16, 17, 18 and 19 level, Thorne will further strengthen the competition for places in Derby’s midfield for the final 18 matches of the campaign.
Head Coach Steve McClaren said: “George is a promising young player and we’re pleased he will be with us for the rest of the season.”
Thorne, a graduate of West Bromwich Albion’s Academy system and a highly thought of talent, made his first-team debut at 16 years of age during the 2009/10 season.
He made his Premier League bow for the Baggies in the following season – before heading out on loan during two separate spells at Portsmouth, then in the Championship, during the 2011/12 campaign to gain first-team experience on a regular basis.
2012/13 provided a similar spell at Peterborough United, where he scored his first professional goal in December 2012 against Bolton Wanderers, before he returned to the Hawthorns to make seven first-team appearances inside a month.
However, he suffered an unfortunate anterior cruciate ligament injury which ruled him out of action for the rest of the season in January 2013.
Earlier this season, after returning to full fitness, Thorne spent a month on loan at Watford in the Championship and made eight appearances before returning to the West Midlands.
In total he has 36 international caps at England youth international level, 20 of which were for England’s Under 19s, while his career appearance record to date reads 46 appearances and a single goal.