The Kenedy saga rolls on but potentially one that just maybe, will have a happy ending for once at Newcastle United.
Newcastle gave the Brazilian his first chance of regular game time in three years of English football and he didn’t disappoint.
He wasn’t brilliant in all of his 13 Newcastle United starts but Kenedy did more than enough to give a spark to a team, which whilst it has plenty of hard workers, has few who can beat a man or do something a little different.
The newspapers took his moments of inspiration as then equalling supposed interest from Bayern Munich, PSG and others, which was basically crazy talk (see below).
The left sided player has shown promise but that is promise that he could do well at a Premier League club who are looking to progress and can give him regular football.
Monday has now brought positive news, with the London Evening Standard reporting that Chelsea are willing to let him go.
They say that Newcastle are in negotiations with Chelsea and that a fee of £20m+ is what the West London club are looking for.
With prices generally, my surprise is that anybody would be surprised that this could be the asking price.
If we all think he would be a brilliant signing who is better than any of the other wing options, or indeed strikers, then how could we expect any deal to be on the (relative) cheap?
Chelsea sold defender Nathan Ake to Bournemouth for £20m last summer and nobody seems to think Matt Ritchie, who turns 29 in September, would be overpriced at £15m.
So £20m+ is probably what a 22 year old Kenedy with real potential, would be valued at.
The Evening Standard say that Newcastle are angling towards wanting a loan with option to buy.
This could take many forms and indeed Newcastle paid a £2.7m loan fee for Mikel Merino, which then had a trigger for a permanent £6.5m deal with only a token number of games played.
This has been the case with a number of outgoing players as well, such as Thauvin and Cabella.
The arrangement allowing the bulk of the money to be paid at the end of the loan season, not when the release clause if triggered during the season.
Needless to say, an agreement for Kenedy to come back to Newcastle under any arrangement would certainly help give this transfer window lift-off.
The Mag – 13 June 2018:
News on Wednesday morning that Chelsea are prepared to sell Kenedy.
The winger has now been on Chelsea’s books for three years and apart from the successful four months he recently spent at St James Park, he had only started five Premier League matches previously.
It had been claimed that Chelsea were set to loan the 22 year old once again next season but now it is reported they want to cash him in, to then add the cash to their own transfer budget this summer, whether that is with Antonio Conte in charge or a replacement.
With the players Chelsea have in their first team squad, never mind who they may add this summer, it was always a massive longshot that Kenedy would get a reasonable run in the Chelsea side next season, or indeed any season.
The Chronicle say their information from London is that Chelsea have made the decision to sell and now it is up to clubs whether they are prepared to meet their valuation.
Chelsea have made serious money in recent years with their policy of bringing in promising players from abroad, loaning them out, then selling them.
Lukaku went to Everton for over £30m after loan spells, whilst Nathan Ake joined Bournemouth for £20m after the defender had a successful loan spell there the previous season.
This morning’s report repeats the line about the likes of Bayern Munich and PSG being interested but that is surely a joke, as whilst Kenedy showed promise and did well at Newcastle, he is would still be miles away from having a chance of first team football at that level of clubs, who can shop at the elite group of players when buying.
The Chronicle claim ‘ambitious’ RB Leipzig are also interested but if Newcastle can’t land a player ahead of them then Rafa is surely wasting his time at St James Park, Leipzig don’t have Champions League football to offer after finishing sixth, though they are in the Europa League. With the financial power via the PL revenues and so little investment last season, surely this summer is the time for Rafa and Newcastle to show ambition to the likes of Kenedy and convince them NUFC can go places.
The newspaper adds ‘If Chelsea do slap a £20m price tag on the winger as expected, then United could be priced out of the market’, well arguably Kenedy was the difference in staying up last season, as before his arrival Newcastle had nothing really to offer in opening up the opposition. So his ability and willingness to run at the opposition then opened things up and even when he didn’t play well, his presence was still a worry for the opposition and helped create space/opportunity for others.
Fans don’t expect every player to cost £20m but if there isn’t room for at least one or two signings up around that mark if Rafa wants them, then you have to really start worrying. If Newcastle/Mike Ashley expect other clubs to pay at least £20m for Mitrovic then why should there be no expectation of paying the same for a couple of quality players coming in?
You would also have to question, if they don’t go for Kenedy then they clearly would need to bring somebody else in on the left, so if this ends up being a ‘safer’/cheaper option around the £10m or so mark, then is it just a case of false economy, and simply repeating last summer’s mistakes. With Kenedy, you get a player who has already shown he can perform and also somebody who is very likely to increase in value/ability.
Kenedy liked it at Newcastle and he desperately needs regular football at this point, it looks the perfect match where club and player can grow together.
It would make Kenedy the highest paid player at Newcastle and almost certainly mean breaking the club transfer record…but after 13 years it has to happen sometime!
The Mag – 18 May 2018:
On Sunday, Kenedy posted an emotional message on his Instagram account.
The player thanking everybody at Newcastle United and declared ‘I will never forget it.’
That statement (read it below) not sounding like there was any chance of him being at Newcastle next season.
Then today, an interview has been published with the left sided player.
However, the message is hardly any more positive.
Kenedy does say ‘Maybe one day I will be back’ but it isn’t exactly ‘see you in August’.
With Mike Ashley seemingly pushing Rafa Benitez towards the door and the club trying to crush fans hopes of ambition in the transfer window this summer, we really are hoping for the best but fearing the worst.
Kenedy speaking to official club site:
“I was glad to come here to Newcastle, one of the biggest clubs in England, and I really appreciated the chance to play.
“I’d like to thank Rafa Benítez because he trusted in me.
“I really enjoyed my time here – it was very good.
“All the players, all the staff, they made me feel at home. I felt good.
“I gained confidence from the amazing support and I really enjoyed it.
“Maybe one day I will be back.
“The first game – my debut – was really, really good because I didn’t expect something like this.
“And the game against Leicester was amazing because I’d never seen support like that.
“The supporters were really amazing.
“I really appreciate that because I didn’t expect anything like this.
“The fans were something different.
“I felt honoured to be here; it was something really special and I’m a fan of Newcastle’s fans.”
Kenedy via his Instagram account – Sunday 13 May:
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Newcastle United.
“Thank you to all the players, every single person of the great staff.
“The coach Rafa Benitez who trusted me and gave me chance to play for this great club, which I very much enjoyed.
“And of course to all the fans for the magnificent support.
“It was an amazing chapter in my life and I will never forget it.
“Howay the Toon.”