Kenedy was supposed to be a big time contributor this year. In his second season, Kenedy mustered just a goal and an assist in 25 Premier League appearances. His flashes of brilliance last year surely made supporters excited about having Kenedy for the entire 2018-19 season, but it didn’t turn out well. Since arriving from Chelsea on loan in 2017, Kenedy has not been the superstar that FIFA career mode may have suggested he would become. It seems as though Newcastle and Kenedy are parting ways as Chelsea’s demands are reportedly too high to warrant a permanent deal.
When measuring up a player’s production to their preseason expectations, Kenedy is the most disappointing of all Newcastle United players. Nobody can say anything to convince supporters that Kenedy was, in fact, good at Newcastle. I do believe that the bar was set higher than it probably should’ve been. Kenedy hasn’t scored more than two league goals or provided more than two league assists in a season according to WhoScored, so his low tallies this year aren’t shockingly aberrant. One goal and one assist all season while playing mostly as a left midfielder is unquestionably disappointing, but Kenedy was not going to be our mini Neymar.
His status as a Brazilian with neck tattoos and ever-changing hairstyles may have altered our expectations for his position and production. Kenedy spent most of his time this season as a left midfielder, but managers over the last few years have been using him in more of a defensive role than what his flair may lead people to believe. He did not settle into a consistent role as a result of mediocre individual performances and maybe some formation tinkering as well.
For Newcastle United, the Kenedy era looks to be over. He didn’t feel like a Newcastle United player to me (and he was on loan, after all). It has been a while since Newcastle had a player who is flashy and crafty with the ball like Hatem Ben Arfa, but Kenedy was not going to be our next Ben Arfa.
For Kenedy, he ends his one-and-a-half-year stint at Newcastle United with 38 valuable Premier League appearances, the teachings of Rafa Benitez, and some more Instagram followers. He is not a bust because it didn’t work out at Newcastle United. He is 23 years old and has a ton of time to develop. I hope he finds success at Chelsea or makes a move to another league because he can be a fun player to watch.