clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

So what's the deal with Kenedy, the mystery man who started against Barcelona?

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

In many ways, Kenedy — full name Robert Kenedy Nunes do Nascimiento, named after the younger brother of US President John F. Kennedy — is just another anonymous recruit for the Chelsea Loan Army.  Off to be deployed in some strange land, never to be heard from again, then sold at a minor profit a few years from now.

But in some ways, he's quite special.  He was, for example, the only member of the travelling squad for the USA Tour who really didn't seem to have much of an immediate future with Chelsea.  Signed for €10m earlier this summer, we had assumed Kenedy would be heading out on the well-beaten loan path.  Instead he turned up in Montreal and started hanging out and training with the rest of the squad.

It's not quite clear what sort of permit Mourinho's referring to.  If he means UK work permit, does this mean he intends to keep Kenedy around the first-team alongside fellow teenagers Bertrand Traoré and Ruben Loftus-Cheek?  Or is the permit just some lost-in-translation way of referring to whatever paperwork is missing that has so far prevented Chelsea from announcing his signature?  All official communication from the club has been very careful when talking about the player, referring to his time with the rest of the squad essentially as a trial from Fluminense.

The group today [Friday, July 17] included Brazilian forward Kenedy who has been given permission by his club Fluminense to train with Chelsea.

-source: Chelsea FC

As to what the actual hold-up may be with his transfer to Chelsea, it's anyone's guess at the moment.  Considering all the legal maneuverings we had to do to get Nathan's signature this summer, plus all the Salah drama with litigious Fiorentina, nothing would surprise me.  The initial sale from Fluminense was to an "investment group," which seems weird and scary and messy, but apparently is quite common in Brazil.  Perhaps we're still trying to deal with those guys.  Maybe it has something to do with Barcelona's (supposed) first-option on the player, which they reportedly passed up.

Or maybe we are in fact trying to land him a UK work permit and we're just waiting for that process to finish.  If his social media presence is any indication, the 19-year-old wasted no time in integrating himself with the rest of our Brazilian players.  He could potentially be this summer's Traoré, minus the two-year wait for him to become UK-legal.  He certainly did not do his prospects any damage with his performance against Barcelona last night.

As we said in our scouting report, he's got the physicality to be a success in the Premier League.  At 19, he's still obviously quite raw, but after last night, immensely more intriguing than before.  The video below doesn't even have the passage of play where he bodied Luis Suarez off the ball inside our penalty area, which was perhaps the youngster's most impressive contribution on the night.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the We Ain't Got No History Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Chelsea news from We Ain't Got No History