David McGoldrick is yet to score a goal for Sheffield United this season, despite playing in 13 of their 16 Premier League games so far.
McGoldrick was named the Blades’ player of the year in 2018/19 as they won promotion from the Championship. That season the striker scored 15 times after signing on a free transfer from Ipswich Town the previous summer.
Yet this time around the back of the net proves elusive to McGoldrick. Not that the 32-year-old hasn’t had his chances.
At Wolverhampton Wanderers a little over a week ago, McGoldrick should have scored his team’s second. He did even put the ball in at Tottenham Hotspur, only for the goal to be ruled out by VAR.
What is slightly concerning is that only three Blades strikers this century have gone on a longer run of games without a goal during a campaign.
Conor Washington played 15 league matches last term and didn’t score a single goal. However, 12 of those appearances were from the substitutes’ bench.
In the 2011/12 season James Beattie returned to Bramall Lane, having been prolific during his previous spell there. Aged 33, Beattie played 18 times and did not score. Again, though, 16 of those were as a sub.
Finally, Rob Hulse played for the Blades last time they were in the top flight in 2006/07 and scored eight goals that term. But the next year, back in the Championship, Hulse played 21 times (10 starts, 11 as sub) and did not score.
Is McGoldrick form for Sheffield United a concern?
This depends on how a striker is judged. If it is based purely on how many goals they score then yes, the statistics for McGoldrick in 2019/20 have to be a worry.
Yet if it is about their overall play and contribution to the team then it is not. McGoldrick fits perfectly in the 3-5-2 system Chris Wilder has deployed this term.
As an unselfish linkup man, the former Ipswich player is often the one who drops deep to act more as a number ten. When the overlapping centre-backs, wing-backs, or midfielders join the attack, McGoldrick can be seen filling in for them.
It his play that allows strike partner Lys Mousset to flourish.
Wilder continues to back McGoldrick. And the Blades boss is yet to let the club down so far during his brilliant three-and-a-half years in charge.