Kenedy has been a massive hit at Newcastle.
Arriving on loan in January, he gave the side something they’d badly missed up to that point.
The left-sided player can take his man on and this has significantly changed the threat level posed by this Newcastle team and also helped a number of other players to up their game.
In his six games so far, Kenedy has now scored two goals and got one assist, whilst also providing that threat of running with the ball at pace which means other teams can’t be complacent in the knowledge that Newcastle have no players who can hurt you.
Amongst the players who have improved since Kenedy arrived on loan from Chelsea, are central midfielders Diame and Shelvey, their jobs made a lot easier by the fact that they now have this outlet in the team to give the ball to, who will then run at the opposition.
Far too often this season we had seen Newcastle at times pass the ball and get nowhere, games such at home to Brighton and Swansea that ended up in disappointing draws, saw Newcastle on top and the better team BUT unable to open up the opposition.
Matt Ritchie is arguably the one who has blossomed the most since the Brazilian came into St James Park, for far too long the left side for Newcastle have provided no threat and so other teams had recognised that they could concentrate on stopping Ritchie & Yedlin on the other side, which if they were successful in doing so, meant NUFC were a very blunt attacking force most of the time.
With Kenedy on the left now, Ritchie undoubtedly has more freedom now to be a threat himself, the last four matches producing two goals and an assist from the Scottish international.
The two goals on Saturday have unsurprisingly brought the spotlight on whether Newcastle will have Kenedy next season, whether on loan or permanently.
For me, a loan deal is a non-starter, Newcastle need to act quickly and secure a player who has already fitted in well and who clearly has Premier League ability. Why mess around with another loan and then potentially see somebody else then buy him?
Today has seen a valuation, or rather a guess, put on what Kenedy will/would cost.
‘Newcastle will try to land Chelsea winger Kenedy on a permanent deal.
Rafa Benitez will have to pay up to £15m for the Brazilian who has helped lift United away from relegation trouble.’
The Mirror trying to make it look as though they have information on what Chelsea are looking for.
If Chelsea are willing to sell, then it certainly won’t be £15m…or less!!
That isn’t living in the real world and maybe is a consequence of all these years of Mike Ashley’s refusal to allow proper strengthening of the Newcastle squad, fans and even the journalists covering NUFC, automatically reducing potential transfer fees in the hope that then Ashley will allow a deal to happen.
Chelsea brought Kenedy over as a promising 19 year old from Brazil for £8m in 2015, even without what he has suggested he is capable of now in the Premier League, three years of transfer inflation would probably see a promising 19 of his level costing around that £15m mark now if bought from Brazil in Summer 2018.
For whatever reason, and whichever club was responsible for it, there is no permanent buy price on Kenedy when his loan deal ends, unlike Dubravka who can reportedly be signed for £4m this Summer.
So what is Kenedy worth?
Well, I would say for anybody who looks capable of scoring/creating goals in the Premier League, you have to see £20m as the starting point.
Just look around you at recent deals.
Leicester paid £25m for 20 year old Iheanacho last summer, Everton risked £27m on Tosun (both these players laughably (when you consider what they then went for) linked with Newcastle in the past 12 months) who has only scored goals in the very weak Turkish league, Southampton paying £20m in January for striker Carillo who has only scored 15 Ligue 1 goals in 3 seasons at Monaco (and who looked absolutely useless on Saturday).
Just look at Chelsea themselves with Nathan Ake. The very inexperienced defender had only had eight starts on loan in the second half of the 2016/17 season at Bournemouth and had only ever started two PL games for Chelsea.
Yet Chelsea insisted on £20m for a still very inexperienced 22 year old defender, so what would somebody cost who has the promise of goals and creativity and who will only get better?
Providing Newcastle stay up, this summer has to see reality hit Newcastle United in the transfer market with whoever owns the club, having to ensure Rafa is properly supported.
I think Newcastle will have to bring in at least three quality players, who at least have the potential on their side, players like Kenedy.
If Rafa could get him for £20m or not much more, then I think it would be a relative bargain at today’s prices, then at least one striker and another creative/attacking quality midfielder needing to be added as well, both of them surely needing £20m or so spent on them if Rafa Benitez feels it is necessary.
With the likes of Atsu and Joselu, we have seen what £5m/£6m gets you these days in terms of goalscorers/creativity, you might always pick up a bargain once in a while but you can’t rely on such wildcards when kicking off a season.
It could be one of those strange situations now, where every time Kenedy does something, you will enjoy the moment but then instantly wonder whether that then reduces the chances of him being at Newcastle long-term.
It would be great to think that once safety is ensured, Newcastle could/would go to Chelsea and say ‘right, we’ll give you £20m this summer, let’s do the deal now and it will go through when the window opens’.