Thomas Tuchel thinks Kenedy has major chance to resurrect his Chelsea career

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur – The Mind Series – Stamford Bridge
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Thomas Tuchel believes Kenedy has a major chance to resurrect his Chelsea career in the second half of the Blues’ season.

The Brazilian full-back has been registered in Chelsea’s Premier League squad, having been brought back to Stamford Bridge from his loan at Flamengo.

Kenedy has not made a competitive Chelsea appearance since January 2018 but now has the chance to play a crucial role at the business end of this campaign.

Ben Chilwell’s season-ending knee injury, Reece James’ continued hamstring trouble and Chelsea’s inability to find suitable January recruits have paved the way for the 25-year-old’s west London return.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur – The Mind Series – Stamford Bridge

Kenedy, right, is back at Chelsea after a loan in Brazil (Nick Potts/PA)

And boss Tuchel has tipped the Fluminense youth product to seize his “second and third chance” to prove himself at Chelsea.

Asked if Kenedy now has a fresh start ahead of him, Tuchel replied: “Absolutely a clean slate. Yes, I cannot agree more. And I think he knows it.

“I have known him since many years, I followed him when he started at Chelsea and when he played at Newcastle.

“He was very impressive in the beginning of his career, but he lost track a little bit, maybe could not fulfil his own dreams or fulfil the demands that everybody had for him in his potential.

“But this is life sometimes, and he gets a second and third chance now to be here.

“And this is what it’s about, it’s not about the past, it’s about what happens now.

Ben Chilwell File Photo

Ben Chilwell, pictured, will miss the rest of the season after knee surgery (Mike Egerton/PA)

“He was good in pre-season, he wanted to go back to Brazil to take a chance there, and now we’ve had the situation with Ben and having Kenny and Emerson on loan, Kenny was possible and I’m happy that he’s here.

“Now it’s his duty to get fit, we have to bring him to match fitness and then he needs some minutes, however that will work out, and he’s got to deserve it.

“But he’s now part of the group, he’s a very nice guy and very talented, and let’s see where he is and he can maybe make it.

“I think it’s a huge opportunity for him and I’m more than happy to give it to him, and to help him make the best of it.”

England left wing-back Chilwell’s knee surgery has dented Chelsea’s momentum, with the Blues unable to convince Lyon to allow Emerson Palmieri to return to Stamford Bridge in the January window.

Chelsea were loath to make any permanent signings in mid-season given a lack of stellar quality available.

Marcos Alonso heads the current cast-list of available left wing-backs, with Malang Sarr able to operate at left-back in a back-four.

Marcos Alonso in action for Chelsea

Marcos Alonso in action for Chelsea (Mike Egerton/PA)

But Tuchel revealed he is likely to consider Kenedy as a wing-back first and foremost.

“I think if we play with the wing-backs it’s a perfect role for him, given his profile as a player,” said Tuchel.

“He has a very strong left foot, very strong in possessional play.

“He can shoot and cross very, very precise. And that’s more or less it.

“He’s very, very talented, there was never a doubt about this.

“And now it’s about having the mentality and the right mindset to take this opportunity whenever he’s needed. The wing-back role suits him very well.”

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