Can Andre Wisdom become Liverpool's next great defender?

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Andre Wisdom produced a superb performance as England’s Under-21 side beat Moldova 1-0 in last night’s European Under-21 qualifier.

The maturity and efficiency Wisdom showed leading England last night will have further convinced Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers that the 20-year-old is the man he should use to cover for Glen Johnson, as he recovers from an ankle knock.

Johnson has been one of Liverpool’s best defenders so far this season so his current spell in the treatment room has created a huge headache for Rodgers over how to patch up his back four ahead of important matches.

He has several options with one of his main choices being playing a new signing like Tiago Ilori at right-back temporarily until Johnson returns to full fitness. However, Wisdom ticked every single box with his performance last night even if it was against a weak Moldova team.

The worry for Rodgers in selecting Wisdom to cover for Johnson is his inexperience and the fact Liverpool can’t afford to make too many mistakes if they are to maintain their perfect start to the Premier League.

He’s still only 20-years-old and there is a good chance Rodgers could ask someone like Martin Skrtel or Mamadou Sakho to play out of position rather than throwing Wisdom in at the deep end once again.

Wisdom looks like a far more refined player than when he made his debut for the first team in the Europa League last season. He made 12 starts in the Premier League last season and all elements of his game look far better than when he first started appearing for the first team.

That proves that Rodgers likes him as a defender but the difference now to last season is that Rodgers had no choice other than to play Wisdom, but the transfer deals this summer now give him more options.

Going forward he looks like a right footed version of a young Ashley Cole, showing great space and awareness in the opponent’s final third, linking up with midfield players and producing a decent end product.

Defensively he also looks very solid. His awareness is just as good in his own defensive third and when he does play at full back, he doesn’t leave too big a gap from the centre backs and has great timing when he moves to press out wide.

It’s also very significant that England Under-21 boss Gareth Southgate gave him the captaincy for the Under-21 side which has allowed him to embrace his leadership skills, allowing him to play responsibly and to demand the best.

That should make his chances of a regular slot in the Liverpool side much greater because it increases the chances that he won’t be afraid to have a pop at the rest of the Liverpool defence to ensure that they retain their shape, keeping the chances of mistakes to a minimum.

Can Wisdom nail down a starting place for Liverpool? Do you think Rodgers will go with another option?

image: © neate photos

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