Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore has said no decision has been made on offering Nathaniel Mendez-Laing a contract yet, adding that he’s only at the club to train at this moment in time as he spoke to the Owls’ media team.
The third-tier outfit were said to be monitoring the 29-year-old way back in August, but didn’t act on that interest until this week when manager Moore invited him to train with his first-team squad to ‘blow off the cobwebs’.
Mendez-Laing has been a free agent since being released on the expiration of his short-term contract at Middlesbrough in the summer, failing to impress Neil Warnock enough to earn another deal at the Riverside Stadium and only making nine Championship appearances on Teesside.
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In a bid to win more first-team football, he could potentially be willing to take a step down in a bid to revive his career after performing so well at Cardiff City in his earlier playing days.
And with the South Yorkshire outfit providing him with the opportunity to impress in training, looking ‘sharp’ during sessions according to attacking midfielder Lewis Wing, he could potentially earn himself a contract at Hillsborough if he can retain his fitness and continue to impress.
Hinting that the offer of a deal could be a possibility, Moore said: “He’s in the process of blowing off the cobwebs. He’s a good man and it’s great that he can come in and train with us.
“He’s just come in to train with us but obviously it would be silly not to look at him, he’s on a free transfer, he asked us to come here so I said ‘why not.’
“You can never have enough attacking players, scoring goals is the hardest part of the game.
“If we felt it was right then we would have no hesitation but no decision has been made and he’s just here to train for now.”
Wednesday’s boss seems like he’s the type of man to give players a second chance. He’s already done it with Saido Berahino in the summer – and there’s no reason why Mendez-Laing couldn’t earn a place in the Owls’ first team as well.
Like Berahino, he would probably be willing to take the step down in the hope that it would pay off and he moves back up the footballing pyramid, because it’s often easy to forget the fact he played in the Premier League with Cardiff during the 2018/19 season.
He earned that place in the top-flight on merit after playing an important part in the Bluebirds’ promotion-winning campaign – and his experience in the top two tiers of English football should give sceptical Wednesday fans real hope that he could be a shrewd signing.
Moore has been sensible to take a long look at him first before deciding whether to offer him a contract – because they are a third-tier side for the moment and with this – there’s the responsibility to spend a lot more carefully.
It’s not as if there’s any reported interest from elsewhere in his signature either, so the Owls should have plenty of time to assess him before making their final decision.