Arsenal are one of a host of European clubs reportedly keeping tabs on Chelsea wing-back Kenedy. He struggled to break into Chelsea’s team ahead of Marcos Alonso under Antonio Conte.
Conte hardly gave the 22-year-old chances to perform and the manager’s lack of faith in the player became evident when Chelsea signed Emerson Palmieri from AS Roma in January.
Following Emerson’s acquisition, Chelsea allowed the £15m Kenedy to leave on loan to Newcastle. At St. James’ Park, the Brazilian flourished in the second half of the season on loan, contributing to the club’s tenth-place finish with 2 goals and 2 assists in 13 appearances.
Kenedy returned to Chelsea ahead of the FA Cup final but his chances to play regularly will be low considering his rocky relationship with Conte.
However, if Conte leaves, Kenedy could have a future at Stamford Bridge. But as things stand, the Brazilian’s impressive loan spell at Newcastle has caught the eyes of a lot of clubs, including Arsenal.
New Arsenal boss Unai Emery is facing a huge task in hand to restructure the whole squad following the departure of Arsene Wenger after 22 long years.
For any new manager, strengthening the defence becomes the most important aspect. Like the logical tacticians, Emery also wants to solidify Arsenal’s backline before moving on to repair other pieces of the team.
At left-back, Arsenal have the consistent and the reliable Nacho Monreal. The Spaniard was one of the very few players to enjoy a good season in an otherwise forgettable campaign for the Gunners. Defensively solid and attacking-wise efficient, Monreal has been a sturdy performer for the Gunners in the last few years.
Monreal’s displays at left-back barely allowed Sead Kolasinac to get a sniff in the first-team this season. Kolasinac was signed on a free transfer last season but after a fine start to his life at the Emirates, the Bosnian has gone into hiding.
Defensively, Kolasinac has been all over the place while offensively, he didn’t offer much either which lead Wenger to stick with Monreal for the entire campaign.
Now that Wenger is gone, Emery needs to keep in his mind that Monreal is 32 and will need a replacement sooner than later. Arsenal signed Kolasinac with a view to replacing Monreal but the Bosnian has failed to live up to the reputation he built at Schalke.
Now the main question arises; should Arsenal go for Kenedy this summer? While a move to Arsenal would make sense, Emery has to notice that Kenedy is more suited to an attacking role than a defensive one.
Kenedy played with much more freedom and verve on the left-wing at Newcastle, with Benitez preferring Paul Dummett at left-back.
Given Kenedy’s performances came in an advanced role in Newcastle colours, it would be a gamble for Arsenal to sign him as an option at left-back.
Rather signing the Chelsea starlet, Emery must show faith in Kolasinac and give him a run of games next season to help him regain his lost confidence.
Central defence remains Arsenal’s biggest concern and Emery must consider signing two centre-halves ahead of next season. For next season, Emery must go ahead with Monreal and Kolasinac as options in left-back and spend huge on repairing the central defence in the summer.