Name: Andre Wisdom
Date of Birth: 9th May 1993
Place of Birth: Leeds
Andre Wisdom’s talent was seen at a young age. Plucked from local junior football by Bradford City’s youth coach Peter Horne, Wisdom quickly attracted attention from big Premier League clubs. At the age of just 14, Liverpool took the youngster into the Academy at Kirkby, after paying compensation to Bradford. Horne said of the player at the time:
He has just progressed all the time he’s been with us. We’ve played him a year up all the time because of his ability. He was playing with the under-15s this season. We’re very pleased with how far he’s come.
In the Academy, Wisdom has progressed remarkably quickly. He played a massive part in Liverpool’s run to the FA Youth Cup final at the age of just 15, playing mostly with players 2 years his senior. It is testament both to his footballing maturity and also his physical strength.
For a player who was playing in the under 18s while only 15, it shows he has already developed the physicality to cope with the demands and he knows how to cope with more experienced players. Such maturity is demonstrated by the array of abilities he possesses. He is very good in air, heads the ball competently, is tall and has great physical strength. Combined with this, he has very good pace to keep up with opposition attackers and for such a young player, he also has good communication and leadership skills, an ability which will be invaluable to him if he plays at centre back. Furthermore he is a very capable footballer too who has good feet and is very comfortable with the ball. Like all young players he may sometimes try to overcomplicate things but he will learn to do the basics, and to do them well.
The only apparent problem at the moment with Wisdom is the question of where to play him. During the FA Youth Cup final run he started playing at right back, then moved to centre back before playing central midfield during the semi-final against Birmingham City. He is a great variety of attributes which can be utilised in any position and this is why he has adapted so well to doing different roles.
To look at his primary strengths though, strength, heading ability, aerial dominance and pace, it is apparent that he could well be a very talented centre back of the future. The concern maybe whether the physicality which is vital to his play at the moment will be diminished as he moves up the levels to reserve team action, but considering he is 16 and has played against players a good deal older than him, it shows it shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
Wisdom’s talents have also been noticed at international level as well, and along with fellow Liverpool players Jack Robinson and Alex Whittle, he was called up for the England U-16s for the Sky Sports Victory Shield last season, and contributed greatly to England’s success in the tournament.
We will have to see whether Wisdom develops into a Premier League class player, but if he continues to progress along the same lines that he has, he definitely will have a great future in the senior game. His performances this season have done little to dampen those hopes.