Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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Rafael Benitez happy for Kenedy’s value to soar if it means he’s scoring goals

The Brazilian winger has played a key role in the Magpies’ bid for Premier League safety.

Rafael Benitez admits loan signing Kenedy could price himself out of a permanent move to Newcastle if he continues his stunning form for the Magpies.

The 22-year-old Brazilian has been a key figure in the club’s fine run since the turn of the year after heading for Tyneside from parent club Chelsea in January.

Bayern Munich, Paris St Germain and Tottenham have all been linked with summer moves for Kenedy should he leave Stamford Bridge.

Asked if he feared Kenedy was simply increasing his value, Benitez said: “Yes, but if you say do you want him to score goals and the value will go up, then yes, I want him to score goals.

“That is it, football is like this. If you have a good player, the value goes higher. He has the level to play in a top team – but he is in a top side already!”

Benitez revealed Newcastle attempted to negotiate an option to buy the player as part of his loan move, but were unable to do so, and the Spaniard’s keenness to strike a deal is understandable given the winger’s performances to date.

In eight appearances, he has scored two goals and provided two assists, but it is his confidence on the ball and progressive approach which have made him so effective for the club.

Benitez said: “When he receives the ball, he is always comfortable. He is never scared. He can make mistakes and give the ball away, but normally he is doing well.

“To come here and play at the level he is playing, you can say it is a surprise. It is not a surprise because we were expecting a good player, but to do as well as he has in the past months…”

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