It’s been a confusing couple years for Kenedy, who joined as a promising attacking player but has been reclassified as a left wing-back by multiple coaches, including Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, and Antonio Conte as well.
But due to this bizarre classification, Kenedy is technically the only back-up to Marcos Alonso and thus is set to stay with the first-team for the upcoming season. An agreement was supposedly in place with Newcastle United for a season-long loan, but according to Goal’s Nizaar Kinsella, Kenedy will remain at the club because of our failure to sign left wing-back reinforcements.
Chelsea did make numerous bids for Juventus’ Alex Sandro during the course of the transfer window only to be met with repeated rejections. Seemingly no other player was seriously considered though it could be theorised that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would’ve doubled as depth in that position if he had signed, but we all know how that ended.
Kenedy was part of the first-team squad for the second half of last season and made a couple of appearances in games of no real significance. Even Pedro was preferred ahead of him at wing-back, as was Victor Moses in pre-season. Kenedy may be in a better position to compete for a starting or at the very least, regular rotation minutes after an extended period of training under Conte but on the face of it, this seems like a rather disappointing decision from the player’s perspective.
There’s no guarantee that he would’ve played week-in and week-out at Newcastle either, but the chances were always going to be much higher there rather than at Chelsea. Hopefully he’ll prove to Conte this season that he deserves more game time.