Kenedy surprised quite a few back in the summer 2015, when, unlike most teenage prospects signed by Chelsea, he did not go out on loan after his arrival from Fluminense, but instead stayed with the first-team. He even made a combined 20 appearances under José Mourinho and Guus Hiddink last season, playing up and down the left flank as a winger, wing-back, and full back.
While his combative, direct, energetic style may have at first seemed an ideal fit for Antonio Conte as well, the new Chelsea head coach was less than impressed and Kenedy was sent on loan to Watford in the final days of the summer transfer window. The thinking was that he’d fit very well into Walter Mazzarri’s 3-5-2 tactical scheme, but thanks in part to a lengthy knee injury, he only made one 15-minute appearance before returning to Chelsea.
His loan was officially ended in January but he had been training with the squad even before then. Eventually, the decision was made to keep him with the first-team the rest of the season and not send him out on loan again, though thanks to a quirk in FIFA regulations and Brazil’s off-set seasons, he technically still could’ve gone on loan to Brazil even after making an appearance for Chelsea in the FA Cup match against Brentford.
There were rumors of Flamengo possibly interested, but the 20-year-old has recently revealed to Brazilian media that there no offer ever actually materialized, and that’s just fine by him since he’s very happy at Chelsea.
"I didn't receive any offers [to play in Brazil]. I spoke with my agent and he didn't say anything [regarding these rumours]. But I don't intend to return to Brazil now. I'm very happy where I am right now, here at Chelsea, and I want to stay here for a good while."
"Last season was very good for me, given how young I am. And now it is time for me to work, to try to return to the pitch [with the team]."
-Kenedy; Source: ESPN Brasil
Kenedy, like most of our youngsters, has his work cut out for himself to get consistent playing time beyond just FA Cup games, but he does provide good depth to both Marcos Alonso and our inside forwards. Training with Antonio Conte should be beneficial as well, and not just for this season.
All-in-all, a good decision to keep him here and hopefully one that will bear fruit now and in the future.