Striker David McGoldrick became the latest player to join Derby County today, signing a one-year contract at Pride Park Stadium.
The 34-year-old signed for the club following his recent departure from Sheffield United, where he spent four years, and becomes the Rams’ sixth summer signing following the arrivals of Tom Barkhuizen, Joe Wildsmith, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Conor Hourihane and James Chester.
Here is a little more information about our newest recruit:
McGoldrick grew up locally in nearby Nottingham and came through the youth ranks at Notts County. He impressed from an early age and was afforded his senior debut two months after turning 16.
He came on as a late substitute for the Magpies in a 2-1 defeat against Swindon Town in Division Two in January 2004, which was a huge step for the forward at such a young age.
Despite being so young, he consistently trained with the first team squad and made a further three appearances before the end of the 2003/04 campaign. His first start for Notts came on Valentine’s Day later that year as he played 83 minutes in an away defeat against AFC Bournemouth before enjoying two further outings before the end of the season.
McGoldrick’s appearances in the first team at Meadow Lane had alerted many teams to his talents, and still only 16-years-of-age, he made the brave decision to move south and join Premier League side Southampton for an undisclosed fee.
It was certainly a step up for the youngster as he swapped home comforts for new challenge. Whilst he did not make his senior debut, he played a key part in Southampton’s FA Youth Cup adventure as they reached the Final of the competition before being beaten on aggregate by Ipswich Town.
It was an illustrious youth team, too. It included the likes of Adam Lallana, Theo Walcott and Gareth Bale but McGoldrick had made an impression, enough to be handed his senior debut for the Saints the following season in a League Cup clash against Mansfield Town.
He came on as an 81st minute substitute as they were beaten by the Stags before a loan move back to his native Nottingham was next on his agenda.
The striker, still only 17, re-joined Notts County on a one-month loan deal. He played seven times in all competitions for the Magpies but failed to find the back of the net.
After his return to St Mary’s, he was rewarded with his first start for the club prior to the end of the 2005/06 campaign. He started and played an hour as Southampton beat Millwall 2-0 in the Championship.
Ironically it was against the same opposition where he scored his first goal for Southampton as he netted in a convincing 4-0 League Cup victory over the Lions at The Den in August 2006.
He went on to make several substitute appearances for the Saints before enjoying time out on loan with then League One side AFC Bournemouth. It was just the move he needed to showcase his undoubted talents as he scored six goals in 12 appearances, averaging a goal every other game.
He joined Port Vale prior to the close of the summer transfer window in 2007 and spent the first half of the season at Vale Park. It presented a further opportunity to impress on a consistent basis as he managed two goals in 18 appearances before again returning to St Mary’s to finish the campaign.
The 2008/09 campaign would be his breakthrough campaign, however. It was certainly the season he had patiently waited for as he scored four goals in his opening four games, which included the only goal at Pride Park Stadium in a 1-0 victory for the Saints in August 2008.
But the season was one of struggle for the Saints as they suffered relegation to League One. The striker did excel, scoring 14 goals in 50 games in all competitions, but he could not prevent his side from dropping into the third tier.
Following Southampton’s relegation to League One, and after scoring 15 goals in 72 appearances, McGoldrick was on the move and signed for Nottingham Forest for an undisclosed fee in the summer of 2009.
Many clubs chased his signature, but a move back home provided stability for the forward who was still only 21-years-of-age. He started the season well and scored his first goal in a 1-1 draw against Queens Park Rangers in August 2009.
The striker played a key role as Forest reached the Championship play-offs before being beaten by Blackpool at the semi-final stage in his first season at the City Ground.
A shoulder injury sustained in pre-season hampered his progress the following season, but he scored six goals to ensure Forest once again reached the play-offs. This time, though, they were beaten at the semi-final stage by Swansea City.
In 2011/12 McGoldrick joined Sheffield Wednesday on an emergency one-month loan in September 2011 and he couldn’t have wished for a better start, scoring 10 minutes into his debut in a 3-2 victory over Yeovil Town. After four games, he returned to Forest but only managed 10 more appearances before the end of the campaign.
A new challenge presented itself ahead of the 2012/13 season, and it was welcomed by the forward. He joined then League One side Coventry City on a six-month loan deal and it was a spell which certainly benefitted his career.
He made a reasonable start, scoring twice in his opening eight games, before embarking on an unbelievable run which propelled his status as a formidable striker. Between the start of October and Boxing Day in 2012, McGoldrick was in the form of his life as he scored a further 15 times in 16 games for the Sky Blues, which earned him the League One Player of the Month award for December.
Coventry did all they could to convince him to stay for the remainder of the campaign, but with clubs in higher divisions circling he elected to move to Championship side Ipswich Town on loan for the remainder of the campaign. He scored four times, including a brace against Leeds United, in 13 games for Mick McCarthy’s side before making the move permanent in the summer. It meant he ended the season with 21 goals to his name for the Sky Blues and the Tractor Boys combined.
Kicking On Both Domestically And Internationally
McGoldrick agreed a two-year contract with the Tractor Boys and went on to form a formidable partnership with fellow strike partner Daryl Murphy as the pair scored 18 goals between them in 22 games in the 2013/14 season.
His form earned him the Championship Player of the Month for September 2013 after he scored braces against Middlesbrough and Brighton & Hove Albion, whilst he continued to score at a rapid rate.
He scored 16 goals in total during the campaign in 34 games. It more than likely would have been more, had it not been for his season being cut short owing to a partial tear of the medial ligament in his right knee in mid-February. Despite his season ending prematurely, he was still named as Ipswich’s Players’ Player of the Season.
After returning to fitness ahead of the new season, Ipswich were the subject of a bid from Leicester City for McGoldrick’s services. They offered a reported £5 million for his services, but the Tractor Boys rejected as they slapped an £8 million price tag on the striker.
Whilst a move didn’t materialise, McGoldrick continued to shine. So much so, he earned international recognition with the Republic of Ireland with whom he qualifies through his biological grandfather who was born in Ireland.
The striker earned his first call up from Martin O’Neill in November 2014 and made his debut in a 4-1 victory over the United States of America in a friendly match. He provided two assists on an impressive debut for the boys in green.
However, his season would be disrupted by a series of niggly injuries before suffering a hamstring problem which ruled him out for four months in total.
McGoldrick signed a further new two-year and scored 13 times over the course of those two years, however, his time at Portman Road would come to an end in 2018 as he was released from his contract. Following the arrival of Paul Hurst as manager, and the departure of McCarthy, the pair decided to part ways.
He left the Tractor Boys having played 159 games, scoring 45 goals in total, before moving back north to join Championship side Sheffield United following a successful trial period at Bramall Lane.
His first season in South Yorkshire could not have gone much better as the Blades were promoted to the Premier League under the stewardship of Chris Wilder. He was a key figure as Sheffield United finished second in the Sky Bet Championship and earned promotion to the top-flight of English football.
McGoldrick formed an impressive partnership with strike-partner Billy Sharp as he scored 15 times in 45 appearances and contributed four assists. That was enough to earn him the club’s Player of the Season award in his debut year.
At the age of 31, McGoldrick embarked on his first competitive season in England’s top tier as a senior player. He showed incredible work rate and attitude as United defied the odds and challenged at the top end of the Premier League table. But, he was missing an illustrious first goal.
He had found the back of the net at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in November 2019, but his effort was ruled out by VAR for offside, and following the COVID-19 pandemic, he had to wait until June 2020 to finally get his first Premier League goal.
After scoring twice in the FA Cup he finally scored his first, and second, top flight goals in a 3-0 victory over Chelsea at Bramall Lane.
He did add to that tally the following season, scoring eight goals in the league and nine in all competitions, but it was a season of struggle for the Blades as they suffered relegation back to the Championship. He ended as the club’s top goalscorer and won the Players’ Player of the Year and Goal of the Season awards during the 2020/21 season.
Last season would prove to be the striker’s last at Bramall Lane as he left the club after four years. He would eventually finish his spell with the Blades, scoring 30 goals in 136 games.
Without a club this summer, 34-year-old McGoldrick has signed a one-year contract with Derby County as they prepare for life in Sky Bet League One during the 2022/23 campaign.