Date: 26th March 2019 at 6:15pm
Written by:

OPINION

It would be fair to say that Newcastle United fans will not have recognised winger Kenedy this campaign in comparison to the Brazilian wing wizard who dazzled St James’ Park last season.

Signed on a loan from Chelsea in the January transfer window of 2018, the South American star ignited the Magpies’ survival bid almost single handedly, providing a game changing burst of electric energy down the wing and transforming their fortunes up front.

So who on earth is the player that Rafael Benitez has at his disposal this season?

To say the Chelsea loanee looks a shadow of his former self would be an understatement – he has looked uninspiring, out of sorts and just generally frustrating for the fans.

How he hopes to regain his place in the hearts of the Toon Army, only the player himself will know, but he could do a lot worse than impressing against Arsenal in their first game back after the international break.

The three in defence formation is not working out as it used to for Benitez – drawing 2-2 versus Bournemouth and only winning against Everton when reverting to four at the back – so a change of formation would not go amiss for a game in which expectations will be low.

Moving Miguel Almiron inside to put Kenedy on the left wing would give the Magpies blistering pace to use on the counter attack, leaving the likes of Paul Dummett able to sit back and remain resolute in defence rather than worrying about pushing forward.

Kenedy has produced some of his best games against the big boys of the league and this would be another chance for him to prove his worth – as well as redeeming himself among the Toon Army.