Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has confirmed that he has held talks with misfiring winger Kenedy over his poor form this season.
The Chelsea loanee has failed to replicate the huge impact he made on Tyneside after he joined in January of last year, and Benitez admits that things are being done behind-the-scenes to help him get back to his best.
“Kenedy is another player training well,” he told The Daily Mirror. “Everyone can see his potential. This year he has to reach his level again. He is working to do that. We want to give him his chance.
“Now he has to start again. Chelsea are following him. We have been talking. They know he is not playing at the same level. They can see him when he comes on the pitch. He has the potential.
“We have seen it ourselves. We had had a lot of conversations, watching videos, talking with him and people close to him to be sure he is focused. My staff have very good communications with him.”
The good news is that Benitez and his staff are working hard to try and arrest Kenedy’s dramatic slump in form. He looked electric when he joined last year and was one of the key reasons behind Newcastle’s late season surge which saw them ensure their Premier League survival. However, he has been completely unable to replicate that form this season. For whatever reason, be it personal or otherwise, the Brazilian just doesn’t look like the same player this time around. It’s unfortunate because, as Benitez says, we know he has the talent. It’s important for him to know that the club are behind him and are working to find a solution to the problem, that they haven’t abandoned him. There were calls for his loan to be terminated last month but Benitez stuck by him, and credit to him for that. Now the player needs to repay the manager’s faith and kick on over the second half of the campaign.