Tuchel says Chelsea player looked 'very promising' earlier in his career before 'losing track'
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said he has kept an eye on Kenedy for quite a while now as he confirmed that the Brazilian arrived to provide more options at the left-back position.
The Blues recalled the 25-year-old early from a season-long loan at Flamengo in January — a decision which took even him by surprise (via The Sun).
Kenedy has also officially been added to Chelsea’s Premier League squad and has been given the number 23 for the remainder of the season (via the club’s official website).
While some would consider Kenedy’s addition as a desperate attempt from the club to fill the void left by Ben Chilwell’s long-term absence, Tuchel seemed more optimistic about working with a player that caught his attention years ago.
“Absolutely, yes, I couldn’t agree more — I think he knows it,” the German said in Friday’s press conference on whether he will give Kenedy a clean slate at Chelsea.
“I’ve known him for many years, I followed him when he started at Chelsea when he played at Newcastle.
“It was very impressive at the beginning of his career, very promising. He lost track a little bit and maybe could not fulfil his own dreams and everybody else’s demands.
“But this is life. He gets a second or third chance now to be here. It’s not about the past, what happened or what did not happen.
“He was good in pre-season, but he decided that he wanted to go back to Brazil to take a chance there.
“Now we have a situation with Ben [Chilwell. We had Kenny and Emerson [Palmieri] on loan, and [recalling] Kenny was possible, and I’m happy that he’s here.
“Now we need to get him back to [being] match fit, and he needs some minutes. He will have to [earn] it, but yeah, now he’s part of the group.”
Naturally a left winger, the former Fluminese star is known for being versatile enough to play in different positions.
As Tuchel suggested, Kenedy will still also have to fight for his place, with Marcos Alonso being ahead of him in the pecking order.