Chelsea have signed Fluminense starlet Kenedy, but who is he?
By Tom McKeown
Last Updated: 23/08/15 8:31am
Chelsea have officially completed the signing of Brazilian youngster Kenedy from Fluminense.
The forward only recently broke into the Brazilian Serie A side's first team and had been attracting plenty of interest in Europe…
Name: Robert Kenedy Nunes do Nascimiento
Position: Attacking midfielder/forward
Nation: Brazil (Seven caps at U20 level, one goal)
What’s the story?
Chelsea and Manchester United were both reportedly keeping close tabs on Kenedy, who turned 19 in February, but it's Jose Mourinho who has won the race for his signature.
The youngster actually played for the Blues in the pre-season friendly against Barcelona in Washington DC after Fluminense gave him permission to play, and his switch is now finally complete.
"I am very happy to complete my transfer to Chelsea," he said.
"It is an exciting time for me to join the Premier League champions and I hope I can become an important player for the club.
"I very much enjoyed my time with the squad during pre-season and I am very grateful to Fluminense for allowing me this opportunity."
What's his experience?
Kenedy was spotted by Fluminense scouts at a young age, and worked his way through the youth ranks at a club which has also developed talent such as Brazil captain Thiago Silva and Rafael and Fabio Da Silva.
He starred for the Brazil U17 side at the 2013 South America Championships, scoring six goals to finish as his country's top scorer in the tournament.
His performances prompted promotion to the first-team set-up at Fluminense, with youth director Marcelo Teixeria singing his praises.
"He has always performed well for our youth teams and his progress has allowed us to put our faith in him," he said in 2013.
In last year's Serie A, Kenedy made 20 appearances, 18 of them as a substitute, scoring two goals. But in this year's competition the 19-year-old started the first game of the season alongside Brazil striker Fred and looks like he could be set for a bigger role.
What's his style?
At 16, Kenedy often played on the flanks and drew comparisons with the likes of Neymar. With quick pace, the left-footer is often deployed on the right flank with a view to terrorising full-backs and cutting inside.
Now he is a bit older, he has also been compared with Zenit St Petersburg forward Hulk thanks to his impressive strength, but his pace is his key attribute, although he has been described as "one-footed" in the past, meaning his desire to cut inside will be closely guarded.
The likes of Ramires and Willian are known for their hard work at Chelsea, tracking back constantly and adding extra numbers in defence - something Mourinho felt Juan Mata didn’t do enough at Stamford Bridge - and Kenedy's defensive work will undoubtedly need improving if he is to flourish in the Premier League.
Will he fit straight in?
Chelsea's Brazilian contingent will offer Kenedy, who will wear the No.16 shirt, an easy transition and help him settle in at Stamford Bridge, but like many of the club's youngsters he could find himself sent out on loan this season.
The Blues have a partnership with Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem so that could be a likely destination, while they have also reportedly been in talks over a similar agreement with Royal Mouscron-Peruwelz in Belgium.
Now Kenedy has made the move to Chelsea, it looks like it will be at least a year or two before he is likely to feature in Mourinho’s plans for the first team.