On this day in 2018, Sheffield United signed free agent David McGoldrick to a one-year deal after impressing during a trial. From there, he’d go on to become one of the best signings in the club’s recent history.
McGoldrick joined the Blades in preparation for the 18/19 campaign and he scored 15 league goals and added four assists, helping United achieve automatic promotion to the Premier League.
His second season at the club saw him experience top-flight football for the first time in his career. Although he would only net two goals, a brace against Chelsea at Bramall Lane, he would consistently perform to a high level, almost helping United finish in a European place.
McGoldrick spoke on the SheffUnitedWay podcast about the goal drought from the 19/20 campaign:
“If I sat here and said no [that not scoring didn’t weigh heavy on him], I’d be lying through my teeth. Of course, everyone wanted to score. The team was flying, everyone was chipping in with goals. I thought I was playing my part, that helps obviously knowing that I’m appreciated.
“But of course, I wanted to score, and the longer it went on, the worse it was getting. I wasn’t down about it, you know, it wasn’t keeping me up at night. But after every game and a miss and a chance – I remember one, Brighton away when I went around the keeper. As I went around him, I was saying to myself I’ve got this, this is my goal, and then as I shot my body just froze and I went ‘Oh my god I’ve hit it wide.
“I hear the fans singing my name after. I don’t know many strikers that go around and put the ball wide on an open net and then get the fans singing your name. It was unique, the bond that we had, I cherished it.”
He also commented on what it was like playing football without fans:
“We all buzzed off the occasion [when there was an atmosphere]. If you went to Villa Park and 45,000 were there, it would get you on. If you were to go to play a game of tennis tomorrow on a court, you’d have an alright game, but if there were 10,000 there you’d probably raise your game.
“One thing that I always noticed, when we played the big teams with crowds they were under pressure. These teams would come to Bramall Lane or we would go to their place, their home fans would get on them, or our fans would get on them they were tired and intimidated. But when big players have no fans behind them, these players are better than us.”
The following season was a disaster for the club, but the former Republic of Ireland international was one of the very few players that could take any credit. McGoldrick bagged eight of United’s 20 Premier League goals [SofaScore] in the 20/21 campaign.
The striker was released at the end of the 21/22 season, he would only start nine Championship games due to suffering a hamstring injury.
David McGoldrick left as a Blades legend, he tallied 30 goals in 136 matches [Transfermarkt], earning a promotion to the Premier League. He was named Sheffield United Player of The Year in 2018/19 and Sheffield United’s Player’s Player in 20/21.