Andre Wisdom and Ben Foster bolster West Bromwich Albion rearguard | Barclays Premier League

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Tuesday 22 July 2014

Wisdom and Foster bolster West Brom's rearguard

Liverpool and England Under-21 defender joins on season-long loan as goalkeeper pens new deal

  • West Brom's on-loan defender Andre Wisdom has made 14 BPL appearances for Liverpool

  • Goalkeeper Ben Foster has agreed a new four-year deal with Albion

Versatile Liverpool defender Andre Wisdom has become West Bromwich Albion's sixth summer signing after joining Alan Irvine's side on a season-long loan.

The England Under-21 international broke into the Liverpool side in the 2012/13 campaign, making 12 Barclays Premier League appearances, which were augmented by two further top-flight outings at the beginning of the 2013/14 season.

Wisdom then joined Derby County on loan and made 34 appearances as the Rams narrowly missed out on promotion from the Championship, losing 1-0 against Queens Park Rangers in the Play-Off final at Wembley Stadium.

"Andre has been schooled at Liverpool and as a result has a good football education"
Terry Burton

West Brom head coach Irvine said that he was "delighted" at securing the services of the 21-year-old, who can play at centre-back or right-back.

"I've spoken to Brendan Rodgers, who I've known for a very long time and who I trust implicitly," explained Irvine. "He said Andre would do a good job for us. That was reassuring. 

"You want to find out about the person. You can see the player but you want to find out what they are like as a person. Brendan spoke very, very highly about him. 

"He's a versatile lad. He's played as a right-back for Liverpool in the Premier League last season, he also played as a full-back for Derby. He grew up as a centre-back and played on the left side of central defence for Liverpool against Preston on Saturday."

Wisdom moved to Liverpool at the age of 14 after beginning his youth career at Bradford City. He has represented England a number of levels up to the Under-21 category, and played in the Under-16 side that won the 2008 Victory Shield before scoring the opening goal in England's UEFA European Under-17 Championships final triumph against Spain a year later.

West Brom technical director Terry Burton added: "Andre has been schooled at Liverpool and as a result has a good football education.

"He has gained good experience last year and with the England Under-21s. He's a good defender and he looks to enjoy stopping the opposition from playing which is a quality we want our players to have."

Wisdom joins club-record signing Brown Ideye, Chris Baird, Craig Gardner, Joleon Lescott and Sebastien Pocognoli as a new arrival at The Hawthorns this summer.

Foster extends Hawthorns stay

West Brom supporters have received a further boost with the news that goalkeeper Ben Foster has signed a new contract with the club.

The England international has signed a four-year deal, plus a further 12-month option in the club's favour, effectively pledging his future to the Baggies until 2019.

The 31-year-old has become an integral member of Albion's squad and last season collected both the Supporters' and Players' Player of the Season awards – a feat he also achieved in 2011/12.

"When I signed here permanently, I said this is the sort of club I could see myself finishing my career at"
Ben Foster

Foster went on to make history this summer as he became the first West Brom player to represent England at the World Cup in 44 years, keeping a clean sheet in the Three Lions' goalless final Group D encounter against Costa Rica.

The former Manchester United and Birmingham City keeper, who first signed a permanent deal with the club in summer 2014, has made 54 BPL appearances for the Baggies and played a crucial role in helping the club retain their Premier League status last season after four months out with a broken foot.

"When I signed here permanently, I said this is the sort of club I could see myself finishing my career at," the Leamington-born Foster told www.wba.co.uk. "And that's exactly how I felt when the club said they wanted to negotiate a new contract. 

"It was something I wanted to get sorted as soon as possible. I'm very happy here. It was a very obvious and easy decision for me and my family."

The Baggies kick off the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League season at home to Sunderland on 16 August. They beat Sacramento 1-0 in their latest pre-season friendly. To view the club's summer fixture list, click here >>

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