Newcastle United

Benitez is wasting Kenedy’s talent by playing him at left wing-back

Benitez is wasting Kenedy’s talent by playing him at left wing-back

This season, Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has not been afraid to tinker around with his team as he looks to find perfect balance.

And one recent change the Spaniard has made has involved moving Kenedy from a forward position to a left wing-back one, something which he has spoken about in quite a bit of detail.

The Breakdown

“I think he [Kenedy] knows that he is not playing at the level he can play,” Benitez was quoted saying by the Daily Mirror when speaking about the Brazilian.

“But don’t forget that he is an offensive player who we are playing as a wing-back in a defensive formation — sometimes he was defending two against one. So we have to think that he has to adjust, he has to learn, and these kind of games will be a good experience for him.”

Given how Benitez currently has Newcastle lining up, realistically, left wing-back is really the only viable position for £9m-rated (Transfermarkt) Kenedy on the pitch with Ayoze Perez, a favourite of the manger, and Salomon Rondon occupying the two attacking spots.

With all the ability and flair the Chelsea loanee possess, though, using him in a defensive role feels like such a waste. He is not at the top of his game right now but, technically, he is probably the best player Benitez has at disposal.

From a neutral’s perspective, hopefully the shift in position for Kenedy does not stifle him too much with the 22-year-old being a very entertaining player to watch on his day

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