Sheffield United: Events in Ireland make a nonsense of 'Brexit Blades' tag
The sight of four Sheffield United players in the latest Republic of Ireland squad should bust the myth that, when it comes to recruitment, Chris Wilder is pursuing some sort of Brexit strategy.
It is a tag which has generated plenty of column inches. But one which, even though the overwhelming majority of his team are from the Home Nations, irritates the United manager intensely.
But Wilder's interest in tomorrow's Euro 2020 qualifier between Mick McCarthy's side and their counterparts from Switzerland stretches beyond a desire to prove some sort of PR point. The match, which takes place at the Aviva Stadium, represents another chance for Enda Stevens, John Egan and Callum Robinson to embellish their burgeoning reputations. Perhaps even more importantly, it could also provide David McGoldrick to open his account for the season ahead of next weekend's Premier League meeting with Southampton.
The United centre-forward was recalled by Ireland following McCarthy's appointment last term, scoring 15 times as Wilder's men secured promotion from the Championship. He has yet to find the back of the net for his country although, speaking to journalists in Dublin this week, McGoldrick insisted McCarthy's faith in his international potential means one is not far away. And Wilder knows impressing for Ireland means McGoldrick will return to Bramall Lane full of confidence.
"It’s just waiting for one to go in," McGoldrick said. "And once one goes in I think more will come."
Ireland, who face Bulgaria in a friendly on Tuesday, enter the fixture on top of Group D after winning three and drawing one of their opening four outings. Refusing to play down the tie's significance - McCarthy described it as his biggest since returning to the job - the former Ipswich Town chief could choose to pair McGoldrick with Robinson after the pair started United's first three matches back in the top-flight. The fourth - McGoldrick was summoned from the bench at Chelsea - saw Robinson score his first PL goal.
"I'm not bothered where they come from, but I think the strikers might argue that," McCarthy said. "They'd like to score the goals.
"But if they come off and we've won, I don't think anybody's bothered, and that will be the same (tonight) if we win. Nobody will be bothered who scores."
McGoldrick knows a strong display against the Swiss could earn him a recall when Ralph Hasenhüttl's players arrive in South Yorkshire.
"I obviously want to establish myself as a Premier League player first and get games and goals," he said. "I’ve only had three starts. I want more and I feel good, I feel hungry and that’s the main thing."