Speaking to The Athletic, Kenedy has opened up on the struggles he faced upon returning to Newcastle United in the summer of 2018.
After joining the club on loan from Chelsea in January 2018, the Brazilian winger managed two goals and two assists in his initial 13-game run, with then-manager Rafa Benitez praising him for his ‘composure’ and The Chronicle revealed in May of that year that Newcastle were keen on a permanent deal for the player.
Clearly, that didn’t happen and he instead joined on a season-long loan for the 2018/19 campaign, during which he managed only a single goal and just the one assist in 25 league outings. Indeed, a particular low-point was when he missed a penalty against Cardiff in August 2018 with Tony Cottee and Jeff Stelling lamenting his performance in that game on Sky Sports.
Out of the picture towards his departure, he didn’t start a game after the 4-0 loss away at Liverpool on Boxing Day.
Since, he’s returned to Chelsea and been farmed out on more loans to Getafe and Granada, where he currently is. In 25 La Liga games, the 25-year-old has scored three times and laid on a further two assists.
What did he say?
“It was a difficult season, really tough,” he said.
“My family stayed in London when I went up to Newcastle, and it was just different. I was used to being on my own because I left home as a teenager. But when you start a family, it becomes more difficult when you’re far away.”
How should he be remembered?
The Cardiff penalty aside, Kenedy was a productive signing for Newcastle during a period in which Benitez was forced to shopping in the loan market.
He may not be considered among in the pantheon of club greats but, according to WhoScored data, he averaged the second-highest number of dribbles per game in his first stint despite playing only thirteen times with only Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie making more key passes than him.