Sheffield United: Ipswich Town must regret letting David McGoldrick leave now

Seven months ago, when Ipswich Town announced they were releasing David McGoldrick, barely an eyebrow was raised among the Portman Road support.

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 2:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th December 2018, 2:08 pm
Sheffield United's David McGoldrick

The general consensus, following an injury hit season, was that he was fragile, brittle and probably past his best at Championship level.

After being offered a route back into football by Sheffield United and emerging as one of the most influential members of Chris Wilder's squad, McGoldrick returns to East Anglia having changed opinions. Both in South Yorkshire, where the 31-year-old's presence was initially questioned by some, and also Suffolk.

Chris Wilder is delighted with David McGoldrick: Simon Bellis/Sportimage

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Describing him as a "talented", "intelligent" and "knowledgeable" footballer who goes about his work with quiet authority, Wilder revealed how a combination of research and conditioning work were the catalysts for McGoldrick's renaissance.

"We looked into things and discovered that the journey down there was probably responsible for some of the issues," United's manager explained. "There was no question about his ability, never has been and never will be, so we just spoke to a few people."

One of those was Mick McCarthy, who also parted company with Ipswich earlier this year. Now managing the Republic of Ireland, the former Barnsley and Celtic defender is on the verge of handing McGoldrick an international recall after watching him score his sixth goal of the season against West Bromwich Albion last weekend.

Wilder, whose side enter Saturday's game fifth in the Championship table, acknowledges that figure could be higher. But, as United prepare to face the division's bottom club, he insisted: "David brings so much more to the table with him. And he's not missed many matches through injury, which is testament to him and also the work of the fitness people behind the scenes here."

Mick McCarthy and Chris Wilder
David McGoldrick spent five years at Ipswich Town