Rafa Benitez addresses Kenedy’s future ahead of his final Newcastle appearance

Newcastle United's Kenedy tuddles with Everton's Idrissa Gueye.
Newcastle United's Kenedy tuddles with Everton's Idrissa Gueye.

Rafa Benitez’s hoping tonight won’t be Kenedy’s last appearance for Newcastle United.

Kenedy, on loan from Chelsea, will make the final appearance of his loan against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley.

He could see the runners and a pass, good deliveries on set-pieces. He’s a nice lad. He was happy. The rest of the players appreciate that also. They have a very good opinion of him.

Rafa Benitez

The winger will have to sit out Sunday’s home game against his parent club.

Kenedy helped Benitez’s side secure their Premier League status with a series of eye-catching performances.

The 22-year-old also quickly earned the respect of his new team-mates.

“He was bringing us a little bit of composure on the ball,” said manager Benitez.

“He was fine. He was not scared on the ball. He could see the runners and a pass, good deliveries on set-pieces.

“He’s a nice lad. He was happy. The rest of the players appreciate that also.

“They have a very good opinion of him.”

United do not have an option to turn Kenedy’s loan into a permanent move, though Benitez plans to ask Chelsea about his availability in the summer.

Asked if Kenedy would be back at the club, Benitez said: “For this season, it will be his last game. We don’t know, it depends on Chelsea.”

Meanwhile, striker Islam Slimani, signed on loan from Leicester City, has left the club.

Slimani was last week banned for the club’s final three games after kicking out at West Bromwich Albion’s Craig Dawson.

Benitez said: “I said he can go, because he will not be part of the team in these two games. We told him and we told them that he can go if he wants, and he has.”

Asked if Slimani apologised for his actions, Benitez said: “Yes. He was not very happy, obviously. He knows that he made a mistake.”