What has happened to Kenedy?
It’s almost exactly a year ago that the Brazilian arrived on loan from Chelsea, with him making an immediate impact and being a player who played a key part in our rise from relegation candidates to a side that somehow managed a top 10 finish.
Don’t get me wrong, he showed his limitations during the second half of last season, but he looked good technically, a good athlete and someone who could make things happen AND track back well at the other end.
Twelve months later and he’s just had yet another appalling display in a black and white shirt, with him being so poor during yesterday’s 0-2 FA Cup defeat to Watford that I have him a 2 in my player ratings piece.
To summarise just how much he’s declined, here’s the rating and review I gave him yesterday compared to how I described his performance after last season’s 2-1 win away to Leicester in April 2018:
Watford rating (26th January 2019)
Kenedy – 2 – “Absolutely abysmal, unfortunately. Where has the Kenedy from 12 months ago gone? He pressed well early on, but his energy levels quickly faded – and his lack of control, awareness or precision on the ball was worryingly bad. I’ve never seen a player constantly try the spectacular when they’re regularly failing to do the simple things right. As today showed, he’ll try a 40 yard shot but fail to get his head up and play a 5-yard pass. He looked unfit and was out on his feet late on,”
Leicester rating (April 7th 2018)
Kenedy – 8.5 – “Another classy display from the Brazilian, but another one which also proved he’s ready to track back and get stuck in off the ball as much as he is willing to make things happen and excite on the ball. He never stopped running, showed some sublime pieces of skill and quality on the ball. A great performance, but one that makes me worry that Chelsea will have second thoughts about selling him!”
He’s gone from a player just about every Newcastle fan was delighted to see back at the club over the summer, to a player you wouldn’t think twice about if we ended his loan move from Chelsea tomorrow.