Antonio Conte has revealed that he will not be selling or loaning out any players in the January transfer window until and unless they find an immediate replacement. This comes as a huge blow to Newcastle United who had already agreed to terms with the club over a short loan spell for the left winger, Kenedy.
Th 21-year-old is one of the players Rafael Benitez needed to dig themselves out of the relegation zone. It is no secret that the Magpies are struggling with a lack of quality and depth and is in dire need of a restructuring going forward.
The second half of the season is already upon us and the January transfer window is the only way they can start to turn things around. Benitez is already eyeing a few strikers but a versatile fullback is also on his shopping list.
Kenedy fills that role perfectly from the left flank as seen this season for Chelsea under Conte. A product of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, Kenedy moved to the Premier League in the summer of 2015 from Fluminense for a fee of £6.3m.
He joined primarily as an attacking winger but is now fielded in the fullback position by the manager. Still very young, Kenedy was brought in as a future prospect but has faced his share of problems in settling into the English game.
His loan spell with Watford last season got cut short in January 2016 after appearing for the club only once. He has just registered 360 minutes of game time this time and last appeared in the 2-1 win over Bournemouth in the quarterfinals of the EFL Cup.
However, his career cannot be declared a bust just yet without regular game time in the league.
Benitez has fielded Javier Manquillo and Chancel Mbemba in the left back after an injury to their main left-back Paul Dummett left a significant void in the defensive back line. The duo has not quite been able to adjust to the role so far into the season and needed the first choice Welshman to return soon.
Kenedy could have been the answer to all their woes with an opportunity to finally showcase his talents regularly. However, with the loan move now ruled out, Benitez will have to scavenge the market for another replacement within the next 3 weeks.
However, things might not be so bad for the fans at St. James Park who saw their side clinch a 0-1 win against Stoke City last night and moved up to the 13th spot of the points table.