Sheffield Wednesday winger Nathaniel Mendez-Laing has shot at redemption after 500 days of bummer

To say it had been an eventful 500 days for Nathaniel Mendez-Laing would be something of an understatement.

Friday, 31st December 2021, 5:00 pm

And while Sheffield Wednesday’s embarrassing 5-0 humbling at Sunderland will no doubt serve as a memory best forgotten as soon as possible for all involved, it did offer at least one tiny shard of positive as their newest man completed 90 minutes for the first time in all that time – 500 days.

Mendez-Laing’s first start in 272 days it was, but in getting through the whole piece the winger chalked off a goal he had not achieved since August 2020, in a 3-1 win for playoff-bound Cardiff City at Middlesbrough.

Through the cancellation of his contract in South Wales to a frustrating time last season at – ironically – Middlesbrough, it has been 500 days of bummer for the 29-year-old.

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Sheffield Wednesday new boy Nathaniel Mendez-Laing has a point to prove.

But now, at Sheffield Wednesday, Mendez-Laing surely has his big shot at redemption.

“He has looked bright in training,” said Owls boss Darren Moore after the Sunderland horror show.

“He has looked strong, fit and really mobile. I thought Sunderland was the right game for him.

“He started off really bright and then he went through a spell in the middle part of the game where he dipped a little bit and he came back stronger.

“I am pleased for him that he has now got his (full) debut out of the way. He has got off and running and he will only get stronger. He has not played a lot of football.

“In terms of the magnitude of the game, he can feel happy with what he contributed.”

Wednesday is a side in need of a short in the arm when it comes to their attacking threat.

And unlike at Middlesbrough – where he was entrusted to play less than 300 minutes across four months of employment – the Owls took time to ‘bed him in’ to life at Middlewood Road and build-up his fitness across several weeks before his official signing.

The club even organised a behind-closed-doors clash with a Sheffield United XI to help with his sharpness.

Wednesday boss Moore described Mendez-Laing as an ‘exceptional talent’ when he was signed in November. It’s over to him to take this last shot at redemption.