Joseph Mendes left Reading at the end of his two-year spell with the club in 2018, with the Royals deciding against extending his contract after he managed to make just three goalless Championship appearances in the 2017/18 campaign.
The forward had arrived at the club in the summer of 2016 and did play a part in helping the Royals reach the Championship play-off final in the 2016/17 season under Jaap Stam. His most notable contribution was the brace he scored in a 3-1 victory away at Aston Villa in April 2017 that helped establish their top-six position.
The 29-year-old though peaked at that moment and he only scored one other goal during his spell with the Royals. After leaving the club as a free agent, Mendes moved to Ligue 2 side Ajaccio ahead of the 2018/19 campaign. The forward would have been hopeful of re-finding the form that saw him net nine goals in 37 league games for Le Harve in Ligue 2 in 2015/16 (Sofascore).
Mendes was involved fairly regularly for Ajaccio during his first season back in France, with the forward used primarily as more of an impact player of the bench making eight starts and a further 19 appearances as a substitute. However, he failed to score a single goal or an assist and averaged just 0.5 shots per game (Sofascore) in 2018/19 as his side finished in 17th place.
The following campaign saw him struggle to make much of an impact, similar to what happened to him at Reading. The 29-year-old managed to make just five league appearances in 2019/20 all of which came from the bench, although he was at least able to score his first and only goal for Ajaccio in a 4-1 win against Valenciennes in the first round of the Coup de la Ligue.
Having spent some time of the 2019/20 season playing for Ajaccio 2, the forward was allowed to leave last summer. Mendes made the move to Ligue 2 rivals Chamois Niortais with whom he has managed to make 12 league appearances so far this campaign, the last of which came off the bench in a 3-3 draw with Paris FC at the start of February.
Given his lack of impact in the French second division over the last few years, it seems as though the Royals may have made a wise decision in choosing not to extend his deal back in 2018.