Derby County have this afternoon completed the loan signing of Liverpool defender Andre Wisdom on a season-long youth loan deal.
The England Under-21 international, who has made three appearances for the Reds’ first-team this season, will be in line to make his debut for Derby in this Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship encounter against Birmingham City at Pride Park Stadium.
Despite being widely regarded as a hot prospect at Anfield, Reds Manager Brendan Rodgers was eager for the player to continue his education with regular first-team football – and he has selected Steve McClaren’s side as the best place for his development.
The defender had been trailed by a host of Championship clubs before putting pen-to-paper on a temporary move with the Rams, and Head Coach McClaren admitted he was delighted to bolster his defensive options with the signing of the Liverpool youngster.
He said: “Andre is a very good and a promising player who we’re delighted to welcome to Derby County.
“Liverpool obviously think a lot of him but he’s at the stage of his development where he needs to play some first-team games, and we’re delighted they see Derby as the place to do that.
“We’ve had a few injuries in defence of late and Andre will bring extra qualities as well as more competition for places, which is always welcome.”
Leeds-born Wisdom is a graduate of the Liverpool Academy which has produced a number of top stars in recent years, including Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard.
The young defender, capable of playing at either centre-back or right-back was an ever-present fixture in the England Under-16 side that won the 2008 Victory Shield.
Wisdom was also a key member of the England team that won the Euro Under 17 Championships in the summer of 2010, scoring in the final as the Three Lions landed their first ever success at that level with a 2-1 win over Spain.
The defender went on to captain the England Under 19s before being handed an Under 21s debut against Israel in September 2011.
Whilst after impressing at Under 18 and Under 21 level for his club, Wisdom went on to break into the Reds’ first-team under Rodgers, more often than not in the right-back berth instead of his more familiar central defensive role.
The 20-year-old was handed his first opportunity in a Europa League 5-3 victory over Swiss side Young Boys in September, 2012 - and marked his debut with a headed goal.
His impressive performance in Europe led to further opportunities in the first-team in the following weeks, as he started in the 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion in the League Cup, before making his Premier League bow in the 5-2 win over Norwich City.