Newcastle have signed 21-year-old Brazilian winger Kenedy on loan from Chelsea for the remainder of the season.
The Magpies have wanted both a creative winger and cover in the left-back position, and see Kenedy as a player that can provide both.
Kenedy joined Chelsea in 2015 from Fluminense and spent four months on loan at Watford last season.
He has been in need of game time to help further his development, making just five appearances for the senior team this season, in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup.
Chelsea have also looked to sign Roma’s Emerson Palmieri in Kenedy’s position, further limiting the chances available to the young talent.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said: “He needs to play regularly and to go to Newcastle is a great challenge for him.
“It is a great opportunity but he knows that he has to be ready to fight to play for Newcastle.”
Kenedy becomes Rafa Benitez’s first signing of the January transfer window, a time when Newcastle have traditionally been shrewd spenders.
Benitez said of his new addition: “Kenedy is a player that we have been following since the summer. The reason we are interested is that he can play in several positions – as a winger, a wing back and also as an offensive left full back, so he gives the team many options.
“He has a great left foot and good energy. He is still a young player but he has some experience already in the Premier League and that will help with his adaptation. We welcome him to Newcastle United.”
Kenedy was also keen to express his pleasure at signing for Newcastle, pointing to his connections with former Chelsea and current Magpies player Christian Atsu as helping convince him.
“I’m so happy with this opportunity at Newcastle. They’ve opened the door to me to come here, show my potential and come and play for Newcastle,” Kenedy said.
“It’s a traditional club and Rafa Benítez is a fantastic, amazing coach. Christian Atsu, as well – we trained together at Chelsea and know each other – said good things about the club. So it was easy to take this decision.”