Last week, Darren Randolph completed his £4 million move back to West Ham from Middlesbrough. Randolph will battle it out with Polish international Lukasz Fabianski for the number one jersey at the club. The Bray native made his return in goal for the Hammers last weekend in a 1-1 home draw against Everton. The Irish shot-stopper has a chance to impress manager David Moyes and prove to him that he can be a mainstay in the West Ham side. In my opinion, this move for Darren gives him the chance to prove his quality in the Premiership once again as long as he gets game time. Randolph has saved Ireland time and time again and will be hopeful he can perform to the same standard for West Ham when called upon.
Charlton Athletic (2004-2010)
Randolph started playing football for local side Ardmore Rovers in Bray, County Wicklow. In the summer of 2003 he joined Charlton Athletics youth academy before turning professional in 2004. He spent time on loan at Welling United, Accrington Stanley and Gillingham before he got to make his Charlton debut in the 2006-07 Premiership season. Despite Charlton’s relegation to the Championship, Randolph was unable to get much first team action so he made two more loan moves to Bury first and then Hereford United in the year 2008. Randolph returned to Charlton for the 2009-10 season but struggled to nail down the number one jersey once again. He regained his starting position in 2010 and kept it for the remainder of the season. Randolph left the Valley the following season for Scottish Premiership side Motherwell.
Although offered a new contract at Charlton, Randolph opted to join Scottish side Motherwell in July 2010 on a free transfer. Randolph established himself as first choice keeper at Motherwell and helped them reach the Scottish Cup final in 2011, losing out to Celtic. He was named in the PFA Scotland team of the year for the 2011-12 SPL season and helped his side finish third in the league table. The following season, Randolph once again impressed and was named in the 2012-13 PFA Scotland team of the year for a consecutive time. Motherwell qualified for Europe for a second season in a row after finishing second in the league. After his contract had expired at the end of the season, Randolph signed for English Championship side Birmingham City.
Birmingham City (2013-2015)
Now a proven shot-stopper, Randolph joined Birmingham as first choice keeper in July 2013. He continued as number one for the duration of his time at the club. He missed only one championship game for the two seasons he was there and was highly rated by manager Gary Rowett. Birmingham confirmed in May 2015 that Randolph had rejected a contract extension and he would be leaving the club at the end of the season on a free transfer. He joined Premier League side West Ham after a successful spell with Birmingham.
West Ham United (2015-2017)
In July 2015, Randolph joined West Ham and soon became their number one keeper. He earned a man of the match performance against Liverpool in August 2015 in a 3-0 away win at Anfield. After a period of being second choice keeper to Spaniard Adrian, he was selected in goal for the last three games of the 2015-16 season. In July 2016, Randolph signed a contract extension and once again proved his worth as he became West Ham’s first choice keeper for the 2016-17 season. The following year, he signed for Championship side Middlesbrough.
In July 2017, Randolph transferred to Middlesbrough for a fee of £5 million. Once again, Randolph was made first choice keeper at the club and continued to perform well at both club and international level. He made over 100 appearances for the Championship side and narrowly lost out in a Championship play-off semi final to Aston Villa in 2018. The following year, Randolph had an impressive season at Boro and was deservingly named in the 2018-19 Championship team of the season. It was confirmed Randolph would be returning to West Ham earlier this month and the signing was announced last week after a lengthy medical process.
International Career (2012-Present)
Darren Randolph has represented the Republic of Ireland at under 15, under 16, under 17, under 18, under 19, under 21 and senior level. To date, Randolph has 39 caps for the Irish senior national team. He was given his International debut by ex Irish boss Giovanni Trapattoni against Oman in 2012. He made his first competitive debut against Germany in 2015 after coming on as a substitute after Shay Given got injured. Randolph had the debut of dreams after pulling off a string of saves and assisting Shane Long for the winning goal in a 1-0 victory at the Aviva stadium. Since then, Randolph has been Ireland’s first choice keeper and will be for the foreseeable future. He played in every match for Ireland at Euro 2016 and has appeared in all the European Qualifiers for this campaign. He will certainly be first choice keeper for the play-offs in March and Mick McCarthy will hope his impressive club form will continue for West Ham.