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Kenedy in contention for Burnley, says Rafa

Written by Tom Easterby

Newcastle United boss Rafa Benítez confirmed January loan signing Kenedy would be in his squad to face Burnley on Wednesday night (7.45pm kick-off).

United welcome Sean Dyche’s side to St. James’ Park for the midweek clash, with the 21-year-old now available to feature having been ineligible for the FA Cup fourth round tie at parent club Chelsea on Sunday.

But the Brazilian is now keen to kick off his stint with the Magpies, and Benítez hinted that Kenedy could be in line for a debut against the Clarets.

“He is in the squad, so he is one of the options,” he said. “We have been practising with him and with the other players, but he was doing well so maybe he has a chance. But still we will have to decide.

“The understanding with the rest of the teammates is always something that needs time, but still he has quality, he knows the league, so I think he can play. But still, we have to decide about that.

“At the beginning of this season we were looking for a player in this position who could play left full back, winger, wing back. (He is) an offensive player and he was a very good option for us. We couldn’t do it, but we have done it now.

“He’s a young player, he needs to play, to understand the way we play, but I think he has the quality and the potential to do well for us.”

Dyche’s side currently sit eighth after an impressive start to the campaign, which included a 1-0 win over Newcastle when the two teams met at Turf Moor in October.

But while Benítez reserved some praise for his opposite number, the Magpies manager said he has faith his charges have what it takes to record a welcome home victory under the lights.

“He is doing well,” he said of Dyche. “I said managers they know the division, now they know the players, and they create this atmosphere that everybody is working hard for the team, so that is a bonus always.

“They are a good team, well organised, they know what they have to do to get points, so I think it will be tough, but to be fair any game in the Premier League is tough. We know we have to do well if we want to get three points, and we have confidence that we can do it.

“It’s the Premier League, and whether you play home or away the rivals are very strong. The main thing for us is to get three points. If it’s at home, I’ll be happy for our fans too, but because it’s the next game, it doesn’t matter where it is – we will try to get three points.”

"He’s a young player, he needs to play, to understand the way we play, but I think he has the quality and the potential to do well for us."

Rafa Benítez

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