Andre Wisdom is back at Derby County! and dcfc.co.uk has taken a closer look at a career to date that has taken him through the ranks of Liverpool to Austria and back to Derby County again.
Previous Clubs: Liverpool, Derby County (Loan), West Bromwich Albion (Loan), Norwich City (Loan), Red Bull Salzburg (Loan)
Born in Leeds, Wisdom was brought up just outside the city in Chapeltown and joined the Bradford City youth system as a schoolboy.
At City, Wisdom was impressive, so-much-so, that he played a year above his age-group until Under-15 level.
After an impressive period amongst the Bantams’ youth ranks, it was only a matter of time before a big opportunity came calling and it was Liverpool who secured his services in January 2008 for what was described as an ‘unprecedented fee for a League Two youngster.’
A Ticket To The Top
After joining Liverpool as a 14-year-old, the defender hit the ground running and was a regular for their Under-18s, playing an important part in the team that reached the 2009 FA Youth Cup final against Arsenal.
In 2011, as a reward for his progress, Wisdom put pen-to-paper on a contract extension and was named on the first-team bench by Kenny Dalglish in Liverpool’s final fixture of the 2010/11 Premier League campaign against Aston Villa.
Despite his quick progression, though, Wisdom had to wait until the 2012/13 campaign for his first-team opportunity and it came under the managerial guidance of Brendan Rodgers.
As understudy to Martin Kelly, an injury early on in the campaign meant that Wisdom was the natural successor to step into Kelly’s place and his debut came in the Europa League against Dutch side Young Boys at Anfield.
Liverpool ran out as 5-3 winners and Wisdom marked his debut in emphatic style with both an impressive performance and a goal.
After successfully breaking through, Wisdom went on to make a further 18 appearances in all competitions that season and he also played a total of three times for Liverpool at the beginning of the 2013/14 campaign.
Building A Platform
With opportunities in the first-team squad becoming increasingly competitive, Wisdom was offered the option by Rodgers to go out on loan in order to further his development in 2013/14.
On 22nd October 2013, it was announced that the defender had joined Derby County in a loan until the end of the season under the guidance of the recently-appointed Steve McClaren.
It was at Derby that Wisdom played arguably his best football to date, as the on-loan defender slotted straight into the team at right-back in the Rams’ fixture against Birmingham City - and remained there for a further 37 fixtures.
Wisdom was integral to the Rams’ rise up the table, eventually finishing third, and he played a huge part in helping the side to the 2014 Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final, where Derby were beaten 1-0 by Queens Park Rangers at Wembley Stadium.
Following play-off heartbreak, Wisdom returned to his parent club in a favourable fashion with his eyes set firmly on having another taste of Premier League action.
The Next Steps
With a number of opportunities reportedly on the table, Wisdom opted to join fellow top flight outfit West Bromwich Albion ahead of the 2014/15 campaign on a season-long loan.
Wisdom was assigned the number two shirt and, up until the end of January, was a mainstay in the Albion starting XI.
The defender featured for 24 of Albion’s 38 Premier League fixtures, however a change of management saw him fall down the pecking order, abruptly ending his consecutive run of games.
Another loan spell followed for the 2015/16 campaign and this time it was to East Anglia for newly-promoted Norwich City.
Wisdom’s third short-term spell away from Anfield came after he signed terms in a new four-year deal.
In total, he made 14 appearances whilst with the Canaries.
A Change Of Culture
After two spells on loan in the Premier League, Wisdom decided to explore pastures new and on 31st August 2016 it was announced that he would join reigning Austrian Champions Red Bull Salzburg in his fourth consecutive season-long loan spell away from Liverpool.
Just 11 days later, Wisdom made his competitive debut for the Austrian side in an impressive 4-0 victory over Admira Wacker.
As well as featuring regularly in the league, Wisdom added further European experience to his belt and was deployed to play in all but one of Salzburg’s UEFA Europa League group stage matches and, in the end, the side were unlucky not to progress to the knockout stages of the competition after losing out to Russian side Krasnodar..
In total, Wisdom featured a total of 22 times for Salzburg across all competitions and played an important part in helping the side to their seventh title in ten years, as well as winning the Austrian Cup.
Wisdom has been capped by England at Under-16, Under-17, Under-20 and Under-21 level.
The defender’s first international call-up came in his first season at Liverpool during the Autumn of 2008 for the Under-16s.
Wisdom’s international bow came ahead of the Three Lions’ Victory Shield campaign where England went onto to be the eventual winners, beating off the likes of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
And after the success on a national scale, Wisdom tasted European success just over two-years later as England emerged victorious in the UEFA European Under-17 Championship Final’s for the first time ever; a campaign in which the defender was a main-stay in the side.
After two bouts of international success, Wisdom continued to progress and went on to feature in Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 UEFA European Championship qualifiers.