Ex-Sheffield Wednesday target cleared for Derby County – Mendez-Laing ‘wants to play’ against Owls
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Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, described by some as Derby’s player of the season so far, left Hillsborough on a free transfer in the summer having had his career rescued by Darren Moore and Wednesday after a long spell as a free agent.
The pacey wide man has 10 goal contributions – four goals and six assists – across all competitions this season but has missed the last two outings with a hamstring problem.
It had looked unlikely the former Cardiff City man would make his comeback in time for the Wednesday clash but it seems he is back in with a chance, according to Rams manager Paul Warne.
“Yes he's trained today and did his last little tick of boxes,” he said on Thursday. “He will train with the squad tomorrow.
“We will have a look at him. It might be too soon. And it might not be. I presume he would love to play obviously. But it's about the game on Saturday and the games after that as well.
“If I risk him and he's out for six weeks, that's pretty poor management from me. But I will be led by the physical team. If they think he has done everything he needs to do, then that's enough for me.
“Obviously you want to play against your old teams and those you support. Mendez-Laing is no different.”
Another name familiar to Wednesday fans will be that of Brighton loanee Haydon Roberts, who was a target for Wednesday in their last two transfer windows.
Experienced defender Curtis Davies is another player who could make a return to fitness.
“Haydon has trained,” said Warne.
“Tuesday and today. He's ahead of Mendez-Laing and he's up for consideration. Curtis Davies had trained and done a little bit after well.”
“It's nice to have a plethora of choices rather than a dearth. But I am pleased the lads are coming back and it's only James Chester who is out of the group.”