Following Kenedy’s embarrassing antics during Chelsea’s pre-season tour of the Far East, it looked like it would be a certainty that he would be departing. However, this is not the case. Journalist, Nizaar Kinsella, confirmed that Kenedy would be staying at the Bridge due to the fact that there would be no further wing-backs after Davide Zappacosta, who will be signing from Torino.
It seemed like Kenedy would be remaining at the Club since Chelsea stalled and mulled over Newcastle’s approach to take the Brazilian to St. James’ for a season. Kenedy would have competed alongside Paul Dummett for the left-back role had he joined Newcastle. Conte’s decision to keep Kenedy at the Club represents a bitter blow for Newcastle as they were in negotiations to sign Matt Target, although according to Sky Sports, this has fallen through.
Kenedy didn’t seem to have a future at the Bridge after being disciplined during pre-season but due to failures to secure the likes of Alex Sandro and Alex Telles to provide competition for Marcos Alonso. Kenedy looks to be the contingency plan in the left wing-back position for this season.
The 21-year-old Brazilian had some experience during the second-half of the 2015/16 season in the left-back role and didn’t fare too well so perhaps he would perform better in the left-wing back role if required. Conte clearly recognises it would be foolish to let Kenedy depart when there is no backup to Alonso. Wing-backs are crucial for Conte’s system for balance and the problems were evident; particularly against Crystal Palace when Moses was absent and against Man United when Alonso strained a muscle in the warm up. Chelsea lost both games coincidentally.
Keeping Kenedy may not be spectacular to most Chelsea fans due to his attitude problems but it is a sensible decision by Conte. Who knows, Conte could even develop him as a footballer and he could prove to be a useful contingency plan to the squad.