Now before you crucify me, there is no one player currently at Chelsea good enough to replace Eden Hazard. The Belgian international was a world-class player and will be a massive miss for the club next season. However, collectively Chelsea have the players to be able to cope with the loss of the Belgian magician. Spreading the output of goals around the team, rather than relying on a single player to produce them is a better idea.
That’s why introducing Kenedy back into the Chelsea first team would be a brilliant idea for the next manager. The breakdown of the Chelsea wingers is like this. There are the senior players, Pedro and Willian, then there are the youth players in Christian Pulisic and the currently sidelined Calum Hudson-Odoi.
Both Willian and Pedro failed spectacularly in the Premier League last season, and to rely on them alone would be a bonkers decision from whoever replaces Mauricio Sarri. Willian’s highest ever goal output in a single season was last season when the Brazil international got eight goals and 14 assists in all competitions. However, a good chunk of those came in Europe’s second-tier competition, the Europa League. Hudson-Odoi and Pulisic, only 18 and 20-years-old respectively, and to trust them to perform consistently over a full season of Premier League and Champions League football at such a young age will backfire.
Kenedy showed flashes of brilliance in his initial half-season loan spell at Newcastle in 2018, contributing eight goals in just 19 games for the Geordies. He displayed a high level of maturity as he helped Newcastle secure safety in the Premier League.
While his second full-season loan spell at Chelsea was far from successful, Newcastle were a club in turmoil last season, and expecting him to perform at such a badly-run club is wholly unfair. On Boxing Day, Newcastle were thumped 4-0 by Liverpool and were firmly in a relegation battle. In the second half of the season, the signing of Miguel Almiron and the inspired form of Ayoze Perez limited Kenedy’s chances severely, therefore not allowing Kenedy to showcase his true potential.
With Hazard gone and the remaining Chelsea wingers far from reliable, Chelsea can’t afford to get rid of the £9 million-rated Kenedy. The 23-year-old winger has more than enough quality to contribute to a successful season at Stamford Bridge next season.