Despite a double blow of cup eliminations in recent weeks, Brazilian winger Kenedy has continued to thrive in his inaugural season with Chelsea. With the club’s big stars continuing to choke this term, the youngster has pounced and grabbed his opportunity with both hands.
It’s this appetising recent form that should prompt the Blues to secure his long-term future and continue to nurture his progress.
As a consequence, Chelsea fans should at least be agitated by rumours linking Kenedy with a move to Barcelona this week as per Mundo Deportivo and reiterated by the Mirror. While simply speculation, it should nonetheless unnerve supporters as the Brazilian’s importance to the club should not be underestimated.
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Since signing for Chelsea on June 26 from Fluminense and reasonable obscurity, Kenedy has battled his way into the first team. Despite limited pitch time under Jose Mourinho, the 20-year-old is now experiencing regular exposure alongside Guus Hiddink.
The flexibility of the Brazilian has been exemplified by his occupation of both the left wing and left back positions. While mistakes have arisen on the odd occasion, his consistency defies his age and is earning him many a fan at Stamford Bridge.
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Kenedy has also gained attention in offensive positions and with two goals this season is even displaying a finishing knack. Also, the latter of his two strikes currently holds the record for the fastest Premier League goal this season after he rippled the Carrow Road netting in early March.
Collectively, Kenedy has undoubtedly thrived in his already relatively brief Chelsea tenure and despite his age, is close to becoming a first team regular.
However, with success comes interest and European juggernauts such as Barcelona are reported to be lurking in the wings amidst Kenedy’s success. Ears are perking up across the continent as acknowledgement of Chelsea’s new young star swells.
Allowing Kenedy to leave would prove spectacularly unwise for Chelsea though. Considering the club’s current situation, they need to hold onto as many successful players as possible and in particular their youth.
The 20-year-old is an integral member of a growing contingent of youth players in the Chelsea first team and letting him leave would be prioritising short term gain over an appetising long term prospect. After all, with Kenedy’s current form and the Blues’ league standing, allowing him to leave would prove a risk they can’t really afford to take.
Chelsea have been notorious for neglecting their young players since Roman Abramovich’s ascension but this has changed under Hiddink's management. In allowing Kenedy to slip through their fingers, Chelsea would be iniating the dismantling of a future group of stars just as soon as they assembled it.