The Chronicle’s Chris Waugh has revealed that this week that home sickness and resultant attitude problems have been a big issue for Kenedy this season – suggesting this is one of the key reasons behind his worryingly poor form so far this term.
It’s stated that the winger immediately had a different demeanour about him shortly after he returned for his second spell at the club – with him struggling to be apart from him mother and new daughter, both living in London.
Here is a snippet from the Chronicle’s latest piece on the Brazilian – an article that also revealed how Chelsea wanted a whopping £30m for him last summer:
‘From the moment Kenedy had returned to the North East, whispers began circulating that something had changed as far as his demeanour was concerned.
‘Soon it became clear that living away from his new daughter and her mother was affecting the Brazilian, and Benitez offered to allow Kenedy flexible training days to ensure he could travel to London whenever possible.
‘But personal problems were not the only issue; the hunger which had been visible in Kenedy’s performances the previous season no longer appeared evident either.
‘Whether this mental shift was subconscious or not is a moot point; it was having a negative impact on his performances, and it became obvious even by mid-August that Newcastle had not been reunited with the same player who had they had parted on excellent terms with just three months previously.’
It must be tough, but he’s a professional being paid top dollar, so there’s only so much sympathy he can have here – especially when Rafa’s clearly helped him deal with these issues in the best way he can.
Kenedy was a revelation during the second half of last season and along with Dubravka, was key to us staying up. However, this year he has been off the pace and after turning in several poor displays – none more so than the horror penalty miss at Cardiff in August – has found himself barely making the bench in recent weeks.
He’s been a massive disappointment this season – so much so that we appear to have dodged a bullet by not signing him permanently in the summer. He can’t even keep Atsu out the side but will apparently now stay until the end of his loan this season, despite rumours in January NUFC wanted to cancel the agreement with Chelsea early.
Attitude problems have been persistent throughout his career and were a large part of why Chelsea loaned him out initially – he was sent home on one of their pre-season tours. He needs to perform from now until May not only to help Newcastle but for the sake of his own career; as it stands and considering his form this year, there won’t be many takers when he goes back to Chelsea. Benitez will be frustrated but the signing of Almiron but the onus on Kenedy to step things up further, or face being frozen out.