More chance now of Newcastle United buying Kenedy from Chelsea
Kenedy arrived at Newcastle United on 22 January 2018.
Newcastle battling relegation and desperate for some inspiration in the attacking third.
Mike Ashley refusing to allow Rafa Benitez to buy any players, with loans only allowed it was Kenedy and the injured Islam Slimani who came in to help in the attacking department.
Martin Dubravka also came in on loan, between himself and Kenedy they sparked an NUFC revival.
Within nine days of arriving, the Chelsea loan player was thrown straight into the team, starting against Burnley on 31 January 2018.
Instantly he was running with the ball, putting Burnley on the back foot, up to that point Newcastle had been so predictable with ponderous passing meaning the opposition could relax in the knowledge that there would be no surprises or direct running.
Kenedy won a penalty that first game which Joselu failed with, Newcastle picking up only a point. However, that was the start of a nine game run that saw five wins and three draws, only the one defeat away at Liverpool – leading Newcastle to early safety.
Whether that Premier League safety would have been achieved without either Dubravka or Kenedy is open to question.
The question at the forefront for most fans was whether Mike Ashley would at last show some ambition and allow Rafa Benitez to buy the winger?
Rafa was blocked from putting any cash bid in but Kenedy came back to Newcastle on another loan with no permanent price clause once again.
Fanciful claims had appeared of supposed interest from clubs such as Arsenal and Bayern Munich but it had only been a 13 game spell at Newcastle and a bid of £20m or so would surely have seen Chelsea willing to almost treble their money on a player they have no intention of ever playing regularly.
To say that Kenedy has been a disappointment this season would be a massive understatement.
Only 14 Premier League starts and none since Boxing Day, whilst even minutes from the bench have been negligible since the turn of the year.
Rafa Benitez clearly has lost all faith in the winger.
The newspapers are keen to say that obviously Kenedy has no future at the club.
However, I think that there is actually more chance of Newcastle signing the Brazilian now, after this disastrous season for him, than there was previously.
Mike Ashley made clear there was no way he was prepared to pay the price tag after the initial successful loan spell.
After this complete failure, I could though see a scenario where Kenedy could still be bought, even if it is a slim chance.
If Rafa Benitez leaves at the end of the season, then it would surely guarantee a return to a puppet manager/head coach and a chaotic transfer policy. One based on dreamed of ‘future resale value’ rather than what is best for the team right now being the priority.
Mike Ashley has shown regularly in the past that he would sanction transfers that were high risk, in the hope of them turning out ok.
Players with bad injury records or current concerns, still recruited, such as Demba Ba, Sylvain Marveaux, Siem de Jong and Hatem Ben Arfa, Ben Arfa signed on a permanent deal whilst still recovering from that serious leg break at Everton.
In his retail empire and elsewhere, Mike Ashley has repeatedly gambled on longshot bets and some of the have paid off, though increasingly others are now coming back to haunt him.
So buying Kenedy when he was flying for £20m+ was never going to happen.
This summer after a dismal year on loan, I could well see Mike Ashley willing to gamble £10m in the hope he bounces back to be a £20m/£30m or more player of the future.
It is the way his mind works and he loves nothing more than a gamble that might prove everybody wrong…
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