Paul Merson has again been talking about Newcastle and particularly about our loan signing from Chelsea – Robert Kenedy – who was named after the former US Attorney General and US Senator.
Paul was on Soccer Saturday over the weekend and is surprised how well Kenedy has been playing for Newcastle.
Kenedy has looked excellent on Newcastle’s left wing and like Matt Ritchie on the right wing he works his socks off for the team and is becoming a better player under the guidance of Rafa Benitez.
Kenedy – after scoring against Southampton
Here’s what Merson has said as he sees Newcastle emerging as a good Premier League team at the end of what has been another tough season for the club and the fans:
“I didn’t see the Kenedy one.”
“I’d seen Kenedy about a week before playing in the cup at Chelsea against Norwich and he wasn’t very good.”
“He’s been absolutely outstanding. For me, he’s been the difference,”
“The goalkeeper’s (Dubravka) been great, but to give them that x-factor on the pitch, he (Kenedy) has given them that x-factor.”
“His goals he’s scored, his assists. The goal he sets up last Saturday (against Huddersfield for Perez) is phenomenal.”
“People look at it and go, ‘oh, that’s a three-yard pass, anybody can do that’. No,”
“It’s the way he controlled it, he took his time, he could’ve easily slashed at the ball and put it over the bar or at the keeper.”
“He just plays a little three yard ball to Perez. He’s been absolutely outstanding.”
Kenedy has class – it’s as simple as that – but he is also willing to listen to Rafa and do exactly what he asks of him.
That’s a formula for the young Brazilian to become a great player as Rafa builds a Newcastle team that can compete again in Europe.
The danger for Kenedy is that he goes back to Chelsea and takes a back seat again – but he will know that at Newcastle he can become a regular and potentially a star player.
We said much the same thing about Andros Townsend just less than two years ago after he had played under Rafa Benitez for three months in our relegation season.
Andros was unwilling to stay at Newcastle in the Championship and he seems to have slipped back a bit in his form and displays at Crystal Palace.
The question is if Chelsea will let him go in the summer, but for the sake of the player himself and of course for Newcastle – we hope we can sign him permanently.
He’s also a smashing lad.