Defender eager for more first team games
Andre Wisdom believes he can benefit from the increased competition for places in Liverpool’s defence – but admits he may need a temporary exit to bolster his long-term Anfield chances.
Brendan Rodgers splashed out more than £25million on deadline day earlier this month to sign centre-back duo Paris Saint-Germain’s Mamadou Sakho and Sporting Lisbon youngster Tiago Ilori.
With Daniel Agger, Kolo Toure, Martin Skrtel and Martin Kelly already vying for a role at the heart of Liverpool’s backline, there is significant opposition for Wisdom in his preferred position.
But the 20-year-old, who made his first-team debut 12 months ago, is convinced the new arrivals can only benefit his career.
“Mamadou and Tiago are further players who are good to look at and learn from,” said Wisdom.
“It will create an even more competitive environment for myself and the other lads in the squad but you shouldn’t expect it to be easy to come to Liverpool and just walk straight into the team.
“There should be real competition for places at Liverpool Football Club.
“Mamadou and Tiago are good lads and are good players. It’s good to have them here to learn from.”
Injuries to Glen Johnson and Agger handed Wisdom only his second Premier League start since January at right-back in the 2-2 draw at Swansea City last week.
With Rodgers having declared the need for the player to continue his education with regular football, Wisdom had been expected to make a short-term departure on deadline day.
And while that has been placed on the backburner, there remains scope for him to depart before the Football League loan window closes in November.
“It was looking almost certain that I would be going out on loan to try to play regular games,” said Wisdom.
“But then Glen Johnson got injured in the game against Manchester United and the manager didn’t want to let me go out as I was need here.
“Maybe something will come of the loan option later in the season because you always want to be playing games on a regular basis.
“But for the time being I’m staying at Liverpool and I’m happy about that because hopefully I’ll be getting another chance here and I’m looking forward to trying to take it.”
Despite the transfer window having closed less than four weeks ago, speculation has already started regarding New Year business.
And reports in Italy suggest Napoli’s former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez remains keen on signing Skrtel on loan.
Skrtel had fallen down the pecking order during the second half of last season under Rodgers and began the season on the sidelines through injury. However, the Slovakia international posted a man-of-the-match performance on his return in the Premier League win over Manchester United and is determined to stay and fight for his place.