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Rafa Benitez admits Kenedy is carrying an injury & isn't fully fit

“I was talking with him at the beginning of the season and talking with his people and the people around him, including his agent. It is a crucial season for him. Obviously he would like to go to Chelsea and win the league, for example. Fine but it’s a win-win situation for us. He has to do really well here if he wants to go there and play and have a chance. They are a top side and it’s very demanding. He knows that. He will need some time. His partner was having a baby and it was a difficult time in the summer. Hopefully little by little it will settle down and he can be the player that we were expecting.

“He has to be consistent. He was doing really well for us for six months, now he has to prove he is someone who can play at this level for a while. I think he can do it but he has a difficult summer with the baby. She was in Brazil and in London so it was difficult but little by little it will settle down. He wants to do well and he has to do well.

“I was talking to him in English, trying to encourage him to carry on and keep working hard. At the moment he has some problems - some pain in the groin - so we’re working on that. He has to come early and go with the fitness coach and physio. He’s not fully fit and perfect so we have to do little bits with him.

“We can be saying: ‘If he is doing well, maybe he will go back to Chelsea’. But Chelsea may sign three players who can play in his position as well. Then he will see he has no chance of playing there and stays here. Still, I think it is too early to talk about that but in his head, the main thing is to just keep playing well. At the moment it is a loan but we have a very good relationship with Chelsea, with him and his agent so we are in a good position.”

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