Things did not go according to plan for young Chelsea loanee Robert Kenedy Nunes Nascimento this season.
After impressing in his half-season loan at Newcastle United last year, it was hoped that a full year on Tyneside, with manager Rafa Benítez staying as well, would be the just the thing his career needed. Benítez, unlike Mourinho and Conte, actually seemed willing to regularly play Kenedy in an attacking role, and at first, the 23-year-old repaid that faith.
Alas, just as Newcastle’s season overall didn’t quite pan as they had hoped, Kenedy’s individual performances didn’t quite live up the expectations either. These things happen, I suppose, but in the end, all Benítez could do is reflect on the disappointing sadness of it all.
“I think it’s because he did so well in his first season, we were expecting, and myself, that he’d play at the same level. For different reasons he did not play at the same level. He knows that. We had a lot of conversations about that. It is a pity because he has all the potential to be a very good player.”
So what’s next for Kenedy? Suggestions at the start of the season all involved a long-term stay at Newcastle, but that’s unlikely now, to say the least. Chelsea’s asking price, set at £30m earlier this season, will surely have to be re-evaluated as well.
“Now he will go back to Chelsea and we will see what is going on with him. But it’ll be very difficult to talk about him. They want £30million for him so it makes no sense to have a debate. He’ll go back and we’ll see what happens.”
-Rafa Benítez; source: Chronicle
Kenedy has one year left on his Chelsea contract.