After being quizzed on Kenedy’s future at the club, Rafa Benitez has admitted that fans should ‘enjoy him while he is here’, stating he has ‘no idea’ if the club will be able to keep him once he returns to Chelsea at the end of the season.
The Brazilian has given us a new dimension down our left-hand side since arriving from Chelsea in January. His quality on the ball and dangerous left foot have been clear for all to see, with him bagging two assists and two goals in six starts for us so far.
He was the star of the show in Saturday’s win over Southampton, scoring twice, and Rafa Benitez has since responded to inevitable questions over his NUFC future.
His response drops a slight hint, however, with him admitting that we should ‘enjoy him while he’s here’ – suggesting Chelsea may want him back and be unwilling to sell the talented 22-year-old:
“I have no idea if there is a chance we can keep him after the end of the season.
“I think at the moment we have to make sure we enjoy him while he is here.”
Benitez then went on to praise Kenedy’s contribution in the team, explaining why he is ‘different’ to our current options and someone who has settled in well:
“It’s more than his energy and pace, he is a player who is comfortable on the ball,”
“His delivery, his crosses and set pieces – he is somebody who is different and he is a player playing with confidence now.
“His goals will help that. We already had a bit of pace with [Christian] Atsu and [Jacob] Murphy, and the ability and work rate of [Matt] Ritchie, but Kenedy is good on the ball, he does not give it away easily and he gives us more control.
“He has slotted in very well and, to be fair, the atmosphere between players is very good. He is a young player, he is quiet, but he has a good relationship with all the players.
“He wants to play football and he is doing that really well.”
So, Rafa seems far from sure that we’ll be able to see Kenedy at NUFC beyond this summer.
How do you see it panning out if he continues to impress?