Newcastle United have signed Chelsea winger Kenedy on loan for the remainder of the season.
The 21-year-old has struggled for game time in the Premier League this season, with all five of his appearances coming in the FA and Carabao Cup for Antonio Conte’s side.
Magpies manager Rafael Benitez has been a long-time admirer of the Brazilian and missed out on signing him in the summer transfer window.
Benitez believes Kenedy’s versatility will help keep Newcastle in the Premier League. They are currently 15th ahead of this weekend’s trip to Chelsea in the FA Cup, when Kenedy will be ineligible to play against his parent club.
“Kenedy is a player that we have been following since the summer,” Benitez told the club’s website.
“The reason we are interested is that he can play in several positions, as a winger, a wing-back and also as an offensive left full-back, so he gives the team many options.
“He has a great left foot and good energy.
“He is still a young player but he has some experience already in the Premier League and that will help with his adaptation.
“We welcome him to Newcastle United.”
Chelsea manager Conte accepts Kenedy needs to be playing regularly to reach his potential.
“For sure, we are talking about a young player with great potential,” Conte said in his press conference before the Blues’ Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Arsenal tomorrow night.
“At this moment of his career he needs to play with great regularity, and to go to Newcastle is a great challenge for him.
“This is a good way for the club. We used the same method for (Andreas) Christensen and now he’s a Chelsea player, always playing in the starting XI. This is a good opportunity for him.”