After only 129 minutes, Newcastle fans are liking what they are seeing of Kenedy.
Matt Ritchie has struggled to make any impact at all this season after stepping back into the Premier League, Christian Atsu flatters to deceive and has delivered little, whilst Jacob Murphy has taken time to adjust to his first experience of the top tier and has only recently started to show signs that he could potentially cope with this level.
Bottom line has been that Newcastle have showed next to no spark from the wings this season and much of the time DeAndre Yedlin has arguably been the team’s biggest attacking threat on the flanks.
So little wonder Newcastle supporters have welcomed with open arms the impact of the Chelsea loan signing.
His willingness to take the man on and drive forward, something we have rarely, if ever, seen this season from anybody in black and white. Certainly both Ritchie and Atsu need to look at themselves and see they have to take far more responsibility in these remaining 12 games to be more of a threat.
It is three years since Kenedy last started two league matches in a row and that was when he was still playing at Fluminese in Brazil before his £8m move to Chelsea.
Little wonder then that Rafa Benitez has taken it easy with the left sided player and he was subbed 57 minutes into the Burnley game and 72 minutes into the Palace match.
The United boss is keen to stop everybody getting carried away too much after just over two hours of football and says ‘we’ll see in a few games if he is doing well’.
Starting on Sunday, three of the next five matches are against Man Utd, Liverpool and Tottenham (as well as Southampton and Bournemouth), so no doubt we will know a lot more after that, about both Kenedy and the team’s prospects of survival.
Kenedy turns 22 tomorrow (Thursday) and has simply rubber-stamped what fans thought of our squad, plenty of perspiration but little inspiration. The hope the Brazilian has given us has also illuminated further just how average the ability is in the squad.
The hope now is that Islam Slimani can do the same up front, when your top scorer after 26 games has only four goals, you don’t really need to say anything else.
It would be a massive shot in the arm if the usual effort from the team and some added quality from Slimani and Kenedy can help Newcastle get a point (or better) against Jose Mourinho’s team.
Then Rafa Benitez will be a little bit more at ease about us giving Kenedy (and hopefully others) rave reviews after Sunday.
Rafa Benitez on Kenedy:
“He did well (against Crystal Palace) and everybody is a little bit excited but he is still a young player and has to be consistent.
“He has played well (so far) but I want to see him playing more good games and then after that we can be talking…’Kenedy can do this’ or ‘Kenedy can do that’.
“At the moment we are happy with what he did and we want him to carry on like this every week.
“I don’t want to put him in the position where everyone is talking too much and too nice about him.
“He has to compete, to perform, then we’ll see in a few games if he is doing well.
“We want to see all the games (that he plays) at that same level.
“When you are young and have not played too many games before, you cannot expect he will be always there.
“I want to keep him calm, protect him a little bit, let him think about his football.”