What a difference two months make. Well, it does if you are a Brazilian left sided player registered at Chelsea FC and go by the name of Kenedy.
The 21-year old is in line to start for The Blues on Wednesday evening in front of the Chelsea faithful at Stamford Bridge, as Antonio Conte’s men prepare to host Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup (League Cup).
Conte has confirmed in his press conference today that he will give some youngsters a chance and specifically mentioned the young Brazilian, as well as Charly Musonda Jr.
But it wasn’t so long ago that Kenedy’s name came close to being an all too short distance memory for Chelsea fans, as it appeared his short career at the Club was over.
Chelsea were on tour in Asia and immaturity got the better of Kenedy as he made some comments regarding Chinese people on social media, which naturally blew up into a frenzy. The Club and Kenedy apologised immediately and Chelsea sent him home early from their pre-season tour and gave him a conduct warning.
That is hopefully all in the past now as Conte suggests his talented young midfielder has learnt from his mistakes, and has been working hard in training to get the defensive side of his game up to scratch.
He is likely to start as a left wing back tomorrow evening replacing the ever reliable Marcos Alonso, and I for one hope that he shines in that role and gives the Spaniard some serious competition there.
Many people suggest that Kenedy cannot do the defensive side of the game needed to be good in that role, but then I am sure that many of these same people also said the same about Victor Moses when he was a winger and was first converted by Conte.
The Blues boss is an excellent man manager and coach, he has the skills and know how to develop players and tweak them to be excellent in the position he wants them to play. I feel that he can, and probably has already begun to work hard with Kenedy to give him a shot at making it at Chelsea, as a left wing back.
Personally, I believe that Kenedy does have the attributes to become a decent left wing back. He’s fast, skillful, direct, and offers a real threat going forward. As for his defensive side, of course it needs working on, but he has the stamina and strength to get up and down the wing and be a physical presence, the rest will come, as it did with Moses.
Kenedy was moments away from joining Newcastle this summer, but Chelsea blocked the deal due to missing out on long term target Alex Sandro. But with Baba Rahman likely to go out on loan again in January, still unfit, and not due to be in contention until late October, Kenedy remains the only real threat to Alonso in that role. He now has a real opportunity to show the world that the past is the past and he is focused on making it at the Club.
Simon Phillips @SiPhillipsCFC