Notts County Complete Huge Signing Ahead Of League Two Return

Notts County have completed the signing of veteran striker David McGoldrick from Derby County, the club have announced.

The Magpies clinched promotion to League Two in dramatic circumstances last month, beating Chesterfield on penalties in the National League play-off final at Wembley Stadium. The victory followed on from a record-breaking season for the East Midlands side, where they were pipped to the title by Wrexham despite amassing an incredible 107 points.

The win in the capital was made even sweeter after suffering three successive play-off heartbreaks and they will return to England’s fourth tier after a four year absence next season.

Plans are already afoot to cement their place in the league pyramid again, and the signing of David McGoldrick throws down a gauntlet to the rest of the division.

Who is David McGoldrick?

McGoldrick is a player who needs little introduction, having tasted both Premier League and international football with Sheffield United and the Republic of Ireland respectively.

The 35-year-old returns to Notts County having broke through their academy system in 2004 before moving to Southampton in the same year. Various loan spells followed, including a return back to his boyhood club, before he moved to city rivals Nottingham Forest in a big-money move in 2009.

He struggled at the City Ground before several more loan moves, notably at Coventry City, where he scored 17 goals in 25 appearances. This caught the eye of Ipswich Town and he made a permanent move to Portman Road in 2013 after a successful loan spell. After five seasons, he was snapped up by Sheffield United following his release from Ipswich, and bagged 15 goals as the Blades secured promotion to the Premier League.

His crowning moment in the top flight came in July 2020, when he scored a brace in a 3-0 win over Chelsea. However, these were his only goals of the season as Sheffield United chased an unlikely European spot. He fared much better the following season though, hitting the back of the net eight times, including another brace in the 3-2 defeat against Manchester United. However, his efforts proved to be in vain as they were relegated back to the Championship.

Last season, McGoldrick dropped to League One with a move to Derby County, where he excelled as the Rams narrowly missed out on a play-off place. With 25 goals in all competitions, he was named Derby’s Player of the Season and was offered a new deal at the end of the campaign. A move back to Notts County beckoned though, and he will be hoping to hit the same form next season.

What is the Reaction?

Notts County manager Luke Williams revealed his obvious delight at signing someone of the calibre of McGoldrick, saying;

“We’re over the moon to welcome someone of David’s immense quality and experience.

“He joins us on the back of his best-ever goalscoring season, but anyone who’s followed his career knows his talents extend far beyond his ability in front of goal.

“David’s an incredibly intelligent and intricate footballer who also boasts tremendous physicality, so we believe he can be hugely effective in a number of attacking roles.

“He’s been a leader and top professional at several big clubs, including recently in the Premier League with Sheffield United, and we believe his know-how and willingness to impart knowledge on to younger players will be invaluable.

“As you would suspect, David hasn’t made this decision for financial reasons. His love and respect for the club have brought him home and he’s going to be a talismanic figure as we commence this exciting new chapter.”

Writer’s View

The signing of David McGoldrick is a huge one for Notts County. Although he is in the twilight of his career, his form at Derby County last season was exceptional and proved he still has an eye for goal. This could be crucial should the Magpies push for a second successive promotion next season.

Experience could be the key and it is not unusual for clubs promoted from the National League to be in the upper reaches of League Two the following season. County face a fight to keep hold of record goalscorer Macaulay Langstaff this summer, with Plymouth Argyle and Ipswich Town rumoured to be interested. McGoldrick is a player either capable of filling the void, or forming a formidable partnership should he remain at the club.

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