Middlesbrough boss, Neil Warnock, is weighing up whether to hand Nathaniel Mendez-Laing a debut this weekend when his side face Derby County in the Sky Bet Championship.
Mendez-Laing was a late arrival at the Riverside Stadium in the January transfer window, with Warnock linking up with the winger who excelled for him during his successful stint in-charge of Cardiff City.
However, Mendez-Laing has had to play the waiting game for his chance with Boro.
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As per Teesside Live, Warnock said: “He was a little behind the two when he first came in but he’s had a good week this week in training.
“It will be interesting to see how far he’s come and whether or not I can give him half an hour or so just to give him a run before we have a tough run of games coming up.
“He did look very good yesterday, I must admit.
“But it’s different in a training game on half a pitch than on a full pitch at full speed. It’s a whole different ball game.
“We’ve just got to be careful with these players who have been out for so long.”
Mendez-Laing, 28, scored six goals and registered five assists for Warnock at Cardiff in the 2017/18 campaign, helping the Bluebirds win promotion to the Premier League.
A further seven goals and five assists followed during his time with Cardiff.
He’s now on the book at Boro, who sit seventh in the Championship table and are looking to keep the heat on the top-six this weekend with a victory over Derby County.
Mendez-Laing could be a really exciting player to watch in the remainder of the season.
Warnock clearly knows how to get the best out of him and if he gets him anywhere near the levels he was showing at Cardiff, Boro are going to have a top player on their hands.
Seeing that potential impact in the coming weeks will only fill fans with confidence that Boro can sneak into the play-off picture.
Thoughts? Let us know!