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Opinion

Has Kenedy proved to be one that Newcastle United let slip away?

3 months ago
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A 21 year old Kenedy first arrived at St James Park 32 months ago.

His impact was immediate, making his loan debut at home to Burnley, the Brazilian added the spark and direct running at the opposition that had been seriously missing.

Kenedy even won a penalty in that match allowing Newcastle to take all three points, only for Josleu to fluff it.

That opening draw was the first in a sequence of 10 Newcastle appearances that took NUFC from fighting relegation to early safety, with five wins, three draws and only two defeats. Rafa’s team picking up 18 points from Kenedy’s first 10 games after only nine points from the 14 PL matches that immediately preceded his arrival.

Between himself and fellow loan player Martin Dubravka, they had saved Newcastle’s season and Kenedy had also helped NUFC to play far better attacking football.

The left-sided player hadn’t excelled in every game but in most he was very good and in a few looked a world beater at times, in 13 appearances he managed two goals and two assists, as well as his excellent all round play.

What could possibly go wrong…

Summer 2018 saw Newcastle fans wishing for a permanent deal, the only problem being claims of a £20m valuation, plus of course the eventual realisation that Mike Ashley was looking for Newcastle to make a £20m+ profit in that transfer window, rather than splashing out any net spend on anybody – never mind £20m on one player.

However, Rafa Benitez somehow managed to get Kenedy signed up on another loan deal for a year.

That 2018/19 season was quite unbelievable…unbelievably bad where Kenedy was concerned.

Rafa Benitez kept trying to coax something from the Chelsea player but if anything, he got even worse.

In the end he made 25 Premier League appearances for NUFC in 2018/19 but only 14 of those as a starter. Rafa losing all patience and the Brazilian not starting another PL match after a particularly bad effort in defeat at Anfield on Boxing Day.

Kenedy ended that 2018/19 season with one PL goal (an excellent one in a very good performance at Old Trafford – see photo above) and one assist.

After a season where he otherwise rarely looked like he was even that bothered to try and justify his place in the Newcastle team, it was no surprise when there was hardly a queue of clubs in summer 2019.

Indeed the queue was invisible.

There were rumours of a loan move to Championship club Reading but not even that materialised, the transfer deadline passing with no movement.

In the end, a last ditch loan deal for the season was set up at the start of September 2019 with La Liga minnows Getafe, just before the Spanish window closed.

In the entire 2019/20 La Liga season, Kenedy made only three starts for Getafe, sitting on the bench most of the season, apart from when he was left out of the matchday squad altogether.

Set to turn 25 in February, Kenedy is no longer a kid and just somebody who is watching his career dwindle away.

I wonder how often wonders why he didn’t put a bit of effort in during that 2018/19 season and then who knows…?

From being talked of as a £20m+ player, Kenedy is now surely somebody who Chelsea just want to move on at any price, so long as somebody else pays the Brazilian’s wages.

Interesting to see where he ends up next, maybe back at a club in his home country and wondering where it all went wrong.

Kenedy is probably the perfect example of somebody who might have all the ability you need to succeed BUT if you don’t have the desire, then you are just wasting everybody’s time.

(***Great timing! I have just seen that a few hours after this was published by The Mag, Kenedy has now gone out on loan yet again from Chelsea, back to another La Liga minnows, Granada. Hopefully he will get more than there league starts this coming season…)

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