Newcastle United are set to sign Chelsea winger Kenedy on a season-long loan deal, according to the Mirror. Rafa Benitez has used his contacts at Stamford Bridge to put a deal in place for the Brazilian and offer him an escape route from the West London club. The Magpies boss has spoken of his unhappiness with transfers this summer, but he is pressing ahead regardless of budget constraints and has made another breakthrough.
Chelsea have made the 21-year-old available after a public relations nightmare during the club’s pre-season tour of China last month. He created a stir after a couple of poorly judged posts on social media, which weren’t well received in the Far East. As a result, the Blues and the player were accused of racism and xenophobia. The club did apologise for their player’s actions and he has since been sent to exile.
Benitez is respected at Stamford Bridge and they will view the move to Newcastle as a good opportunity for the player to move out of the spotlight. Under the Spaniard, he will have a great chance of making an impact in the Premier League, before returning to Chelsea as a better player.
What will he bring to St James’ Park?
During his time in Brazil, he was regarded as one of the most exciting teenagers in the country and was followed extensively by a number of European clubs. The move to Chelsea may have arrived too soon for the winger, but there is no doubting that he has the talent to succeed in Europe in the right environment.
The 21-year-old possesses an excellent left foot and is capable of playing in a number of positions. This will provide the versatility that Newcastle need to balance their squad ahead of a crucial first season back in the top flight. Arguably, his best position is as a winger on either flank, but he can cover at left-back or striker.
Like the typical Brazilian player, Kenedy is a confident dribbler, who is capable of beating an opposition defender. He possesses trickery to beat a player and the pace to accelerate away from a challenge. A positive part of his game is his directness, as he looks to get a shot away rather than holding on to the ball for too long. During his time in England, he has already shown that he possesses the physical strength to succeed.
In terms of weaknesses, he can be reliant on his left foot at times, while his immaturity needs to be corrected. Although he is still young, the controversy that he caused on pre-season tour would have been avoided by a more experienced player. He needs to use the next year to hone his game and his mentality.
Will he be a good signing for Newcastle?
Newcastle are operating in a small section of the market as they attempt to consolidate themselves as a Premier League team once again. Although relegation will have had an effect on their finances, the comments from Benitez in recent days are troubling. Mike Ashley is the one unknown when it comes to the Magpies and he could force his manager to walk away if he continues to provide false promises.
Benitez is doing his best to equip himself with the best squad possible and although he wouldn’t want to rely on loan deals, it is the reality of his situation. Kenedy has a lot of talent and he could prove to be a great pick-up for Newcastle if they can get him to focus on his football. He provides cover across the pitch and is good enough to force his way into the first-team. It is a gamble, but one that could come with huge rewards.