STEVE McClaren says new loan signing Andre Wisdom will boost competition for places in Derby County’s defence.
Wisdom arrives on a season-long youth loan from Liverpool as centre-back Zak Whitbread is ruled out for two weeks with a calf injury.
McClaren is delighted to have Wisdom on board and the player could be handed his debut when Birmingham City visit Pride Park on Saturday.
“Andre is a very good, promising player,” said the Rams head coach.
“Liverpool obviously think a lot of him but he’s at the stage of his development where he needs to play some first-team games, and we’re delighted they see Derby as the place to do that.
“We’ve had a few injuries in defence of late and Andre will bring extra qualities as well as more competition for places, which is always welcome.”
Wisdom’s versatility is also a bonus for the Rams.
The 20-year-old can play right back or centre back.
He is captain of the England Under-21 side and has made 22 appearances for Liverpool including three this season.
His most recent was in the Reds’ 2-2 draw at Swansea last month. He made his debut in September 2012.
Wisdom was on the brink of joining Wigan Athletic on loan last month, only for the plug to be pulled on the move after Glen Johnson suffered an ankle injury.
Johnson is now fit and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is prepared to allow Wisdom to go out on loan to gain further experience through regular first-team football.
Rams first-team coach Paul Simpson says Wisdom is a good addition to the squad.
“We are really pleased with the group we have got here but obviously the injury to Zak Whitbread has caused us a bit of a headache and leaves us one short,” Simpson said.
“Andre is a player who we have had watched.
“I watched him a few weeks ago in an under-21 fixture against Tottenham and he played really, really well.
“He is a solid defender, very athletic and comfortable on the ball.”