Kenedy brought exactly what Newcastle United was looking for down the stretch during the 2017-18 season.
Continuing our look at some of the players that have had quality seasons on loan with Newcastle United, we revisit the first season that Kenedy spent with the club.
Rafa Benitez pushed hard for Chelsea winger Kenedy to join the Magpies on loan during the summer transfer window ahead of the 2017-18 season. That was the club’s first season back in the Premier League after winning the Championship and Rafa figured they could use some skill and speed out wide.
Unfortunately, he could not bring in the Brazilian during the summer transfer window. Thankfully, Kenedy arrived on January 23rd, 2018 to finish the rest of the season in black and white. At the time of his arrival, Newcastle United sat 15th on the table with 23 points, just one point better than 18th-place Southampton and three points better than bottom-of-the-table Swansea City.
The first match that he played in for Newcastle was against Burnley to end January. The Magpies took a 1-1 draw at home with Kenedy provided a beautiful corner-kick assist on Jamaal Lascelles’ goal. His aggressiveness and ability on the ball helped open up Newcastle’s attack down the stretch.
His best performance came against Southampton. He scored twice in the first half-hour, including a second-minute goal that saw him control the ball, turn, and knock it home for one of the Goals of the Year candidates.
In a 1-0 win against Huddersfield in the very next match, he provided the lone assist for Newcastle. That would be the final goal or assist he registered on the season, but he would still start virtually every match and impact the game in a positive way.
After sitting 15th when he arrived, Newcastle United finished the year in 10th. Unfortunately, Kenedy would return the next campaign as a completely different player…not in a good way. He played in 25 matches for the Magpies in 2018-19 and only tallied one goal and one assist and was not a regular starter for a lot of the campaign. But, his 2017-18 contributions were excellent and helped Newcastle to a quality finish.