The Newcastle United fans are becoming increasingly worried about their chances of survival this season, but they are hoping their January signings could make all the difference in the months to come.
The January transfer window gave Newcastle the opportunity to expand the depth in their squad and add proven Premier League quality to their ranks, however, they failed to add a single permanent signing to their ranks after weeks of speculation. Rafa Benitez did manage to lure Chelsea’s left-sided player Kenedy to the club in a short-term loan deal and Leicester City’s Islam Slimani who also arrived on loan until the end of the season.
When Kenedy arrived at the club, the supporters were unsure what to expect from their new Brazilian talent who has barely been given a chance to perform at Chelsea since his move from Fluminense in the summer of 2015. In fact, his lack of opportunity in West London had convinced large sections of the Toon Army that he would have little to offer their club, but his doubters have been well and truly silenced thus far.
It’s very early into Kenedy’s career on Tyneside, but it already appears that Newcastle will have a fantastic chance of remaining in the English top-flight if they can keep their Chelsea loanee fit and firing for the rest of the campaign.
In his first two appearances for the club, Kenedy has been deployed on the left-side of midfield by Benitez rather than at left-back as many had predicted, and he has already enjoyed plenty of success.
Kenedy (valued at £6.3 million by Transfermarkt) has demonstrated his expertise from dead-ball situations already at the club, as he provided an assist for Jamaal Lascelles on his debut against Burnley and was unfortunate not to be credited with another against Crystal Palace last weekend when his corner found it’s way to Mohamed Diame who converted at the back post.
However, it’s been the Brazilian’s direct style of dribbling combined with his willingness to take risks and be creative in the final-third that have really caught the eye so far. Newcastle fans have been pleasantly surprised by his impact in his opening two fixtures, and if he continues in the same vein for the remainder of the season then he could prove to be the difference between relegation and survival for the North-East giants.