Moving with the big boys

A startling rise to prominence resulted in David Goodwillie representing Scotland at all youth age groups and he made his full senior debut for his country in November 2010 as a substitute against the Faroe Islands. When United accepted Blackburn's offer at the start of August, Goodwillie wasted no time in accepting a move to the EPL. By Oliver Holmes.

David Goodwillie was not one of the most high profile signings during the transfer window but big things are expected of Blackburn's new recruit.

The 22-year-old Scotland striker joined Rovers on a four-year contract for a fee believed to be in the region of GBP2million, with a further GBP800,000 being offered in potential add-ons.

Goodwillie has wasted little time in starting to justify the price tag and scored Blackburn's third goal in their Carling Cup second round win over Sheffield Wednesday last month.

When Venky's completed their takeover of Blackburn in November last year, names such as Ronaldinho and Raul were linked with the Lancashire side.

It was no real surprise that neither arrived at Ewood Park and eyebrows were raised when boss Steve Kean went in for his compatriot Goodwillie.

However, the Stirling-born player, who made a big impact in the Scottish Premier League, could prove to be a shrewd investment by Rovers if he can capture the form that made Rangers so keen to sign him.

Scotland boss Craig Levein awarded the striker his first start for his country against Lithuania and there are sure to be many more caps for the youngster.

Goodwillie joined Dundee United aged 14 and he was awarded his first professional contract in 2005. He was handed his debut by the current Scotland and then-United manager Levein. He appeared as a substitute against Rangers at Ibrox aged 16 and set the record of becoming the youngest player to score in the SPL when he found the net against Hibernian in March 2006.

In order to aid his development, the forward was then loaned out the following season to Raith Rovers. Goodwillie quickly acquired a taste for goals, scoring nine times in 23 appearances during his loan spell. The experience he gained helped him to force his way into the United starting line-up and he scored 13 goals for the club in the 2009/10 campaign.

Since then Goodwillie has gone from strength-to-strength and last season he scored 19 goals and picked up the SPFA Young Player of the Season and the Scottish Football Writers Young Player of the Year awards.

Such a rise to prominence resulted in Goodwillie representing Scotland at all youth age groups and he made his full senior debut for his country in November 2010 as a substitute against the Faroe Islands. When United accepted Blackburn's offer at the start of August, Goodwillie wasted no time in accepting a move to the EPL.

“I think it's a massive stage to further my career and there's no better place to play than the Premiership,” Goodwillie said at the time.

He added: “Growing up you want to play in the Premiership and I'm really grateful to have that opportunity. In the Scottish Premier League you are playing against teams like St Mirren every other week — to play against teams like Arsenal and Manchester United instead every week is just a different class. I think it's every young boy's dream to play in England at some point in their career.”

Goodwillie may have to bide his time before becoming a first-team regular for Rovers, but once he gets his chance he could prove to be a snip at just GBP2million.

Goodwillie is not married and it is not known whether he is currently dating. Goodwillie is likely to be treating himself to a top of the range motor following his lucrative move to the EPL.

FACTFILE Name: David Goodwillie Position: Striker Club: Blackburn Rovers D.O.B: 28/03/89 Scotland caps: Two Scotland goals: 0 Scotland debut: v Faroe Islands, 2010.

Moment to remember: Making his first start for Scotland in their Euro 2012 qualifier against Lithuania in September 2011.

Moment to Forget: Being put under ‘house arrest' in Dundee by United boss Peter Houston due to his off-field antics.

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