Euro U21 - Gerrard captaincy guides new U21 skipper Wisdom

Andre Wisdom believes the experience of playing and training alongside Steven Gerrard has given him the best possible chance of being a successful England Under-21s captain.

PA Sport
Euro U21 - Gerrard captaincy guides new U21 skipper Wisdom
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Andre Wisdom will lead the England Under-21s

A graduate of the Liverpool youth system, manager Gareth Southgate confirmed the 20-year-old defender as permanent Young Lions' skipper.

Wisdom captained the side in Stuart Pearce's last game in charge and was also named skipper by Roy Hodgson for last month's friendly win against Scotland, so his appointment was no great surprise.

His first job as captain will be to lead the side out on Thursday for their opening European Championship qualifier against Moldova - a day before Liverpool team-mate Gerrard does the same at Wembley.

The senior team are also taking on the eastern Europeans and Wisdom hopes to go some way to emulating the England captain.

"Steven Gerrard is a great captain for club and country," the defender said.

"I am a defender and he is a midfielder, but it doesn't matter what position you play. You can learn a lot from him, especially being young.

"Training with him every day I see the way he presents himself and the way he lifts teams in time of need for club or country.

"He has done that many times and it is good to learn from him.

"I haven't asked him for tips but I can see the way he lifts the team and hopefully I can do the same.

"I am very honoured to captain any England side at any level, so I am glad to have maintained the captaincy and hopefully we can go on and do well."

Wisdom heads into the match fresh from Liverpool's 1-0 defeat of rivals Manchester United.

The defender came on with 12 minutes remaining and helped close out the match, maintaining the Reds' 100 per cent winning start.

Wisdom did well to keep United at bay and is highly thought of at Anfield, with fellow defender Kolo Toure sure he will become one of the best defenders in the Premier League.

"It is obviously good to be called a wise head on young shoulders - I think it goes well with my second name as well," he said with a smile.

"It is good to try and take everything in your stride and try to be as humbles as possible.

"I try to learn as much as I can from players like Kolo Toure and Jamie Carragher, who has recently retired, and take as much as you can each day."

The Manchester United match was just Wisdom's second first-team appearance of the campaign, with some wily summer additions looking to have pushed him further down the pecking order.

Championship promotion hopefuls Wigan were reportedly close to agreeing a loan move as the deadline approached but a move never came to fruition.

"It is always frustrating because any player, at any age just wants to play," Wisdom added.

"Maybe you might not get as much opportunities as you like, but when you get them you have to try and take them as best as possible, try to impress the manager and everybody else.

"I am at a great club and I love my job. You just play when you get the opportunity. You are always aware of it and are always thinking: 'Am I going somewhere? Am I not?'.

"I still remain a Liverpool player but most importantly we have a game on Thursday with England Under-21s. Hopefully me and the lads can get a good result."

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