Rafa Benitez has told Kenedy to fight his way back into his Newcastle United side – after dropping him against Watford.
The winger was left out of Benitez’s squad for Saturday’s game at Vicarage Road, which ended 1-1.
At the moment we want to see the Kenedy we signed, who we saw doing really well for us during the second part of the league last season.Rafa Benitez
Kenedy, an influential player in the second half of last season after joining on loan from Chelsea, has struggled for form this season. After the game, Benitez stressed that every player had to give “100%”.
Newcastle’s manager will now assess Kenedy in training ahead of Wednesday night’s home game against Manchester United.
Asked if he could be back in the squad, Benitez said: “He could be. We’ll see. He can compete for a position, yes.”
Kenedy re-signed for United in the summer on a season-long loan.
Asked if he was considering terminating the loan, Benitez said: “No. At the moment we want to see the Kenedy we signed, who we saw doing really well for us during the second part of the league last season. Hopefully, he can do the same for us during the second half of this season, too.”
Benitez said it was a “technical decision” to leave him out against Watford.
“This group of players were training really well, and I wanted to just give them the chance stay here and do well during the game,” said Benitez. “We have to realise that the key for us has to be the team effort, and has to be every player giving 100%.
“You can see that the players were doing well in the first half, but they made substitutions that, on paper, are better players, and that is the Premier League.
“We have to be sure that for us everyone is focused, concentrated, and is giving everything because we need the help of everyone.”
Benitez spoke about Kenedy’s form earlier this month.
“It’s true he’s not playing at the level of last year,” said Benitez. “He told me the other day he knew he was not playing well, and these mistakes means that he loses a bit of confidence.
“We tried to explain to him that he only way to change that is to carry on.”