Andre Wisdom, the Liverpool defender who hasn’t yet earned a spot on the first team, chose to spend a year playing at Red Bull Salzburg instead of another English team. The 23-year-old has spent the last three seasons traveling the English countryside during various loan spells: first at Derby, then to West Brom, and most recently to Norwich.
His decision to branch out into Europe was because of the lack of opportunities he’s had in England to play his preferred position: center-back.
He recently said in an interview, “I can sit in at right-back, but these days right-backs are more wingers that can defend a bit. I’m happy to play anywhere but I see myself as a centre-back because I don’t have the attacking mindset of a full-back in the modern game. I always try to do my best no matter where I play – to run and work hard and put myself about as much as possible.”
Regarding the Austrian league, Wisdom was quick to defend that talent that could be found there.
“People think ‘Oh, the Austrian league’, the quality is not going to be there or I’m not going to improve,” he continued. “But I’ve come here, I’ve seen the quality and I know what the league is about. It’s a good opportunity to learn a different culture and a different style of play.
As for his prospects for a career at Liverpool, Wisdom had a realistic take on the subject that shows he has a good head on his shoulders.
“I don’t need babysitting or an arm around me. I’m not young anymore and even when I was I’d just get on with it. I know what I need to do: play, improve and work hard. I don’t need someone to tell me to do that. [Klopp’s] got a lot on his plate and Liverpool have been great this season. Long may that continue.”
With Matip and Klavan joining Liverpool in the summer, Wisdom’s chances were always going to be very limited. Hopefully his time abroad will be good for his growth and he’ll return to Liverpool a stronger player.