Was Rochdale The Making Of Cardiff City’s Mendez-Laing
A name very much on the end of most Cardiff City fans tongue last weekend was that of scorer Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, who doubled his goal tally for the season in the final game of the season.
Many Rochdale fans, however, will have good memories of Mendez-Laing during his spell at Spotland under Keith Hill. After not really having much impact at Peterborough during his three-year spell with the club, in which he found the back of the net four times. Being loaned out became the norm for the winger.
Three back-to-back loan spells at Portsmouth, Cambridge and Shrewsbury left Mendez-Laing looking broken. In came Rochdale in the summer of 2015, with Kieth Hill believing he could revive the winger’s fortunes and get him playing as he should be.
Signed on an initial one year deal, Mendez-Laing didn’t have an ideal start with mounting injuries pushing back his league appearance to October. Nevertheless, Hill thought if he could get Mendez-Laing up to match fitness on a regular basis he’d have some player on his hands.
The winger scored roughly one goal in three games and it was a no-brainer to activate his second-year option on his contract.
During his second season at the club, he turned up in the big games when Rochdale needed him too, and carried the team a lot towards the end of the season as Dale pushed for a playoff place.
His turn of form and performances didn’t go unnoticed, and Cardiff City came calling for the free agent in the summer of 2017 after he rejected a Rochdale contract.
He helped the bluebirds in their quest to be promoted to the Premier League, however, an injury-ravaged first half of the season put a dent in his momentum.
Rochdale fans, what memories do you have of Mendez-Laing and did you think he had what it took to play in the Premier League?