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Rafa Benitez says Kenedy needs to forget about Chelsea and perform for Newcastle United first

3 years ago

Kenedy has been much talked about in the first month of the season.

Unfortunately, the talk has all been about what he hasn’t been doing, rather than a repeat of last season’s positive play.

Like any flair player he is never going to be able to perform at a constant level, it will always be up and down, rather than say a central defender who can be relied on as a 7 out of 10 every week.

However, after doing ok against Tottenham on the opening day, it has been disappointing stuff against Cardiff, Forest and Manchester City.

He couldn’t play against parent club Chelsea and the sad reality is that the player Newcastle fans are looking to for that spark of creativity and excitement, wouldn’t even have been on Chelsea’s bench if he had stayed at Stamford Bridge.

It is now well over three years since Kenedy arrived in England and in that time, he has only started five Premier League matches, with the last 29 months showing only a single one.

In the international break the winger told the media back in Brazil that his intention/dream is to go back to Chelsea and win trophies with them, in response to that, Rafa Benitez says to have any chance of doing it, firstly Kenedy has to perform at a really top level with Newcastle.

The Newcastle manager makes the point that the Magpies could have a great chance of keeping the Brazilian long-term even if he does well, due to the fact that Chelsea are always liable to sign more players ahead of Kenedy.

With over £70m spent on a goalkeeper this summer and over £50m on a defensive midfielder, you have to wonder just how any young promising player can break through at Stamford Bridge.

Speaking of his current ‘form’, Rafa points to the time off Kenedy spent in the summer, his partner having a baby and the player having to travel to both London and Brazil to see them, which left him with only 67 minutes of action in pre-season friendlies.

With such limited options in terms of quality, Rafa Benitez has had no choice but to keep playing Kenedy as he struggles to get full fitness and as the manager reveals, has also been struggling with an injury.

Maybe the main message to come out of the manager’s words is that the reality for Kenedy, Rafa and indeed Newcastle United overall, is that at the moment we are all stuck in this situation under Mike Ashley and have to make the best of it. A squad that has seen a serious lack of investment with currently Rafa having to pin so much of our hopes on an underperforming inexperienced player, who the manager wasn’t even allowed to put a bid in for in the summer.

Rafa Benitez:

“It is a crucial season for Kenedy.

“Obviously he would like to go to Chelsea and win the league, for example.

“Fine, but it is a win-win situation for us, as he has to do really well here if he wants to have a chance to go and play there.

“Chelsea are a top side and it’s very demanding and he knows that.

“He will need some time (to get into his stride this season, as his partner was having a baby and it was a difficult time in the summer.

“Hopefully little by little it will settle down and he can be the player that we were expecting – he has to be consistent.

“He was doing really well for us for six months and now he has to prove he is someone who can play at this level for a while.

“I think he can do it but he has a difficult summer with the baby, she was in Brazil and in London, so it was difficult – but little by little it will settle down as he wants to do well and he has to do well.”

“I was trying to encourage him to carry on, keep working hard, at the moment he has problems with some pain in the groin and so we’re working on that.

“He has to come in early and go with the fitness coach and physio, he is not fully fit and perfect (at the moment) so we have to do little bits with him.

“My experience with players when it is so early in the season is…leave them just playing well and afterwards you have plenty of time to talk about the future.

“We can be saying: ‘If he is doing well, maybe he will go back to Chelsea’ but Chelsea may sign three players who can play in his position as well.

“Then he will see he has no chance of playing there and stays here.

“I think it is too early to talk about that(Kenedy’s future) but in his head, the main thing is to just keep playing well.

“At the moment it is a loan but we have a very good relationship with Chelsea, with Kenedy and his agent, so we are in a good position.”


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