Chelsea have become notorious for hoovering up, and subsequently hoarding, talent over the last decade or so, with many a player having found themselves trapped in the seemingly never-ending cycle that is the loan system.
The likes of Lewis Baker and Lucas Piazon – both of whom have since left the club – are infamous examples of players who were sent out on successive loan deals with arguably no real hope of earning a first-team chance, while lesser-known goalkeeper Matej Dalec – at one stage the longest-serving player at the club – never made an appearance in eight years in west London.
One man who looks to be joining that list of cast-offs as a forgotten figure among the current squad is Brazilian winger Kenedy, the 26-year-old approaching seven years at Stamford Bridge having joined on a £6.3m deal way back in 2015.
The former Fluminese man initially started brightly in England, making 20 appearances in all competitions during his debut campaign under Jose Mourinho and notably scoring after just 39 seconds in a 2-1 win over Norwich City in March 2016.
Six years on, however, and that early strike at Carrow Road remains his solitary Premier League goal for the club, while he has since made just a further nine appearances across all competitions for the west London outfit.
Much of his time at the club has been spent out on loan in truth, with the £6.3m-rated man having endured temporary stints at Watford, Newcastle United, Getafe, Granada and at Brazilian side Flamengo.
Arguably one of the most promising of those loan moves came at St James’ Park – where he spent 18 months under Rafa Benitez – although a disappointing end to his second campaign saw no permanent deal come to fruition.
A stint in Granada followed in which he bagged eight goals in 44 games in all competitions for the La Liga side during the 2020/21 campaign – helping the club to the Europa League quarter-finals – although again he could not make Spain a permanent home, with the versatile winger now back at his parent club – after a brief stint in Brazil earlier this term.
Having been recalled by Thomas Tuchel for the second half of this season – following the season-ending injury to Ben Chilwell – the mercurial talent has since featured just twice in the FA Cup and has only appeared in three Premier League matchday squads, as per Transfermarkt, despite the Blues boss having tipped him to revive his career back in February.
As it is, it seems that his time at Chelsea should well come to an end sooner rather than later, with the club still having to pay his £25k-per-week salary – having already cost them roughly £1.3m-a-year since his arrival in August 2015, on top of that £6.3m fee, meaning he’s cost the club around £16.7m in total.
Unfortunately for Tuchel and co, his deal still has another year to run, with it perhaps wise for them to end his dismal spell with a permanent sale this summer.