Sheffield United: Blades old boy Diego De Girolamo shines for Cheltenham Town in Trophy victory over Premier League champions
Former Sheffield United striker Diego De Girolamo had a home debut to remember as helped Cheltenham Town reach the quarter-finals of the Checkatrade Trophy.
De Girolamo, on loan from Bristol City until the end of the season, scored a hat-trick as Cheltenham Town ran out 6-1 winners against Leicester City’s Under-21’s last night.
The 21-year-old began his career at Bramall Lane, penning a three-year pro contract in October 2012, despite attracting interest from Premier League giants Manchester City and Manchester United.
But after he sustained a serious knee injury in March 2013 whilst on duty for Italy’s Under18’s which kept him out of action for nine months, he was forced to until October 2014 before he would pull on a Blades shirt once again.
Following that injury setback, he joined York City on a month’s loan, for what would be the first of three temporary stints with the Minstermen.
His first stint at Bootham Crescent saw him score three goals in four games, before returning to United to make three further appearances.
At the end of November, he returned to York on loan until January 2015. During that stint he would find the target once in four outings.
He then returned to the red half of the Steel City once again as the Blades considered their attacking options.
The Chesterfield-born man then netted his maiden goal for the Blades in a 1-1 draw with Preston at Deepdale in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
United, then under the stewardship of Nigel Clough, offered De Girolamo a new contract, but the striker rejected the offer.
Following that decision he returned to York in mid-February, this time on loan for the rest of the campaign.
But his spell with Russ Wilcox’s troops was cut short as he joined fellow League Two outfit Northampton Town.
By the end of his stay at Sixfields he failed to find the net in six appearances.
That summer saw him return to United where, despite turning down a new deal in the past, signed a new two-year contract.
But just a year into that deal, De Girolamo exited the Lane as he joined Bristol City’s development squad in the summer of 2016.
On January 1, he linked up with Gary Johnson’s Cheltenham, who are second-from-bottom in League Two, in search of first-eam football.