Newcastle United Manager Rafael Benitez made 21-year old Brazilian starlet Kenedy his first signing of the January 2018 transfer window with a loan move from Chelsea to add a fresh and exciting attacking option to his black and white squad.
The dynamic, energetic and lightning quick Brazilian baller loves a dribble and taking men on and will delight the St. James’ Park crowd who may well see something of Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa in his mazy runs and attempts to do the unexpected.
Kenedy is extremely versatile and can play anywhere from left-back to right-wing and will add much-needed creativity and flair to The Magpies line-up with Benitez saying,
“The reason we are interested is that he can play in several positions. He has a great left foot and good energy”.
and Kenedy’s admirers wish to see his attacking strengths be used in a forward position.
A Jose Mourinho signing at Stamford Bridge for £6M in 2015 from Fluminese, the Brazil youth international found first team opportunities hard to come by after initially impressing his famous new boss against Barcelona. Mourinho said:
“We bought Kenedy because we believe in him. He’s a very young kid that we believe a lot in, hopefully…Against Barcelona he had the chance to (play) and even if it was a friendly I think it was the best debut for a kid, to play against the best team. It was a great night for the kid and a great experience.”
After making 20 appearances that first season for Chelsea, however, a change of manager when Mourinho was sacked meant he was frozen out of the first-team picture under Antonio Conte and played just once last year and was loaned to Watford for an ill-fated spell whereas he was mostly injured.
A loan to Newcastle under Rafa Benitez, who successfully revitalized the career of former Chelsea winger Cristian Atsu after he was frozen out at Bournemouth, could be just what the football doctor ordered for Kenedy, who is named after legendary US Senator Robert F. Kennedy and coincidentally also shares the surname Nascimento with Pele.
The Mirror’s Andy Dunn suggests Chelsea are “Taking the Mickey” out of the loan-system and damaging The Premier League’s integrity with nearly half of Premier League clubs next season being forced to team against The Blues that has been weakened by being forced to drop a Chelsea loanee as they cannot play against their parent club.
For example, Tammy Abraham on loan at Swansea, Kasey Palmer at Huddersfield, Kurt Zouma at Stoke City and Ruben Loftus-Cheek at Crystal Palace and now Kenedy at Newcastle will not be able to play against home club Chelsea in The Premier League when they come to St. James’ Park on the final day in May.
Yet for the other 13 games of the season, Newcastle will be able to field a hot Brazilian prospect albeit one who has to settle down and seize his golden chance in football’s big time under Benitez’s tutelage.
“For sure we are talking about a young player with great potential. At this moment in his career he needs to play with regularity and I think going to Newcastle is a great challenge for him.”
In their eyes, he was just starting to impress again in a Blues shirt and had Jermaine Jenas & the football loving nation purring with this extravagant flip-flap nutmeg in the week that fellow Brazilian Ronaldinho, who invented the skill, retired from the beautiful game.
The young Brazilian will be looking to continue this momentum and seize a big Premier League chance at the famous Geordie club after a false start to his season when, after appearing to mock China via an ill-advised SnapChat message on a club tour, Kenedy was quickly sent home and made to train on his own in disgrace.
Telling China to “Wake Up” has ironically been transformed into a wake-up call for the young player with all of the football ability in the world yet seemingly lacking the direction and discipline so far to maximise his vast potential.
A break-out loan at St. James’ Park could change all of that for the pacy, exciting trickster who can play all over the modern football pitch and will be a real versatile asset for his new club, who play Chelsea in the FA Cup next week although he is Cup-tied but should make his Newcastle debut in the home game against Burnley on Wednesday, January 31st.
The NUFC board, meanwhile, now turn their attention to trying to capture a striker before the end of the transfer window with latest reports linking the club with a £20M bid for Nicolai Jorgensen.