Date: 7th August 2012 at 11:49am
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Cardiff City ‘took a punt’ last season after young French triallist Rudy Gestede was offered a permanent contract with the Bluebirds. However, after a decisive late contribution in setting up Miller for a superb opening day win away at West Ham, Gestede showed he could have an impact in the Championship.

It’s fair to say that Gestede ended up playing far more than most would have anticipated. Simply, we looked better with him on the pitch and Mackay showed his faith by playing the youngster in the Carling Cup final where Agger and Skrtel both struggled in the air against him. Gestede earned a new contract, and will look to continue improving this year but after suffering yet another injury – he will find that difficult.

Gestede was rarely first choice last year, but with Velikonja brought in, Helguson replacing Miller and Craig Bellamy likely to join – Gestede’s opportunities will be further cut. Add to that his current injury, and it’s hard to see where he fits in. When he does return to training, he will be behind all his team-mates in terms of preperation and has missed all the pre-season warm-up games which always provide a perfect chance for the younger or fringe players to impress and set their bar for the season.

Last season’s campaign was marred with short-term niggly hamstring injuries and Gestede must be desperately disappointed. It may well be that a loan spell in League One or Two would be a valuable option both in terms of regaining fitness and enjoying some first team football to build his experience.

it’s always good to see young players coming through and having an impact in the first team. The rise of the impressive Joe Mason was hugely enjoyable last year and he remains an exciting prospect for the coming campaign. Unfortunately, Gestede first needs to recover from his injury, then to training and try to build his fitness. With virtually no matchtime behind him, the very best he can hope for is a place on the Bluebirds bench and it could be a difficult and frustrating second season for the Frenchman.