Andre Wisdom has expressed his delight at sealing a permanent move to Derby County – and he’s determined to carry on where he left off with the Rams.
The 24-year-old defender has put pen-to-paper on a four-year contract, following the successful completion of a medical, after Derby agreed an undisclosed fee with Premier League side Liverpool for his services last month.
Wisdom spent the majority of the 2013/14 season on loan at Pride Park Stadium and was a model of consistency at right-back, quickly earning himself a strong reputation amongst the Derby faithful.
His impressive form during that season saw him firmly established as the first-choice right-back as Derby reached the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final.
Loan spells at West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City and Red Bull Salzburg have since followed in the last three seasons to continue his footballing education and gain more first-team exposure.
However, Wisdom admits the best season of his career so far came in a Derby shirt – and he’s desperate to produce more of the same in the future under Gary Rowett.
He told RamsTV: “It’s good to be back – I can remember my time here before like it was yesterday.
“I loved it at Derby so it is good to sign. It helps that I have been here before so I am familiar with some of the players and staff, as well how the club works, so it made the decision easy.
“To be honest, Derby does feel like home. When I was here before we had a great season and we were unlucky at the end not to go up, but aside from the Play-Off Final everything clicked and we all enjoyed it.
“I feel that I played the best season of my professional career here before. Even after I left Derby and went elsewhere, I don’t think I was playing the kind of football that I was during that loan spell.
“It’s good to be back and I hope I can replicate what I did before this time around.”
Having not played for Liverpool since the early stages of the 2013/14 campaign, the former England Under-21 international admits he knew a permanent move away from Anfield was on the horizon.
He feels that joining Derby is the ‘right fit’ and is also convinced that he can flourish under Rowett.
Having watched some of the Rams’ matches towards the end of last season, Wisdom is confident he can fit into the way Rowett wants his side to play.
He said: “I knew I was going to leave Liverpool and it was just a case of when and where to.
“Even though I had time remaining on my contract it was about finding the right fit.
“Everyone knows that I love Derby so I think this is a great time to make this move.
“I spoke to Gary Rowett on the phone and from the first conversation it was clear how he wants to work and how we’re going to move on in the right direction.
“I think he will be a good manager to play for. I watched some of the games from when he came in and from what I have seen I think I can fit into his style of play.”
Derby’s players reported back for pre-season training this week and Wisdom is ready to get down to work following his summer break.
The Rams will kick off the 2017/18 campaign with a trip to Sunderland on Friday 4th August and Wisdom already has the game in his sights – although there’s plenty of work to get through before then.
He said: “I’ve had a good summer and relaxed, but I’ve kept myself ticking over.
“I have recharged the batteries but stayed in shape.
“Pre-season is underway now and I hope I can get into the swing of things again.
“We have Sunderland on the opening day which is a big game between two big clubs; hopefully we can start with the result that we want.”