'It's a huge opportunity': Tuchel suggests he could finally pick Chelsea man who's not played since 2018

Thomas Tuchel hinted that forgotten Chelsea outcast Kenedy could still have a role to play this season.

Speaking in his press conference earlier today, Tuchel revealed that the Brazilian had been recalled from his loan to provide cover for the team’s absent wing-backs.

Why is Kenedy back at Chelsea?

Injuries to Ben Chilwell and Reece James have forced the board to scour the market for alternative options.

Lucas Digne came up in conversation before joining Aston Villa.

Sergino Dest continues to be mentioned, yet only from a distance so far.

The Blues reportedly want to end Emerson Palmieri’s loan spell with Lyon early, although the French side are not willing to relinquish the player.

Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Therefore, Chelsea have evidently turned to Kenedy as a slightly surprising support act.

Curtain pulled on Kenedy

The 25-year-old hasn’t featured competitively for the European champions since 2018, having spent the majority of his career away from Stamford Bridge.

He signed for native club Flamengo over the summer, only to be dragged back to South West London after less sixth months.

Now, after previously being cast aside, it seems the versatile defender may be back in the Premier League spotlight once again.  

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

“Kenedy is back and I am very happy about it. It’s a huge opportunity for him to make his mark at this club and this team,” said Tuchel.

“We will try now, from today on, to push and support him as good as we can.

“We cannot say that Kenedy is the solution but he can be the solution.”

The right is still not right

Kenedy will be able to provide cover to Marcos Alonso on the left flank, who hasn’t really been afforded a break since Chilwell’s injury.

There is still a need to locate depth on the opposite channel, however.

Callum Hudson-Odoi, Hakim Ziyech and Christensen Pulisic can all be deployed as makeshift wing-backs; whether they want to play there is another story.

Chelsea have just over a fortnight to resolve this issue, otherwise they could be heading into February rather light on the right.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.