There was understandable excitement when Kenedy hit the ground running at Newcastle at the end of January.

After a lengthy transfer pursuit, the Brazilian made his debut against Burnley on transfer deadline day and lit up St James’ Park, hitting the post, winning a penalty and laying on an assist.

His fine start to life on Tyneside continued at Crystal Palace, where another Kenedy corner led to Mohamed Diame’s goal.

And performances have largely been steady enough in the subsequent matches, too.

However, that is all they have been. Newcastle need more than a steady performer on the left-hand side as they look for their wide men to provide a goal threat in the absence of a prolific forward.

Even then, Kenedy perhaps could not be blamed as he was, as one of the reasons he was signed was to play on the left of a back five.

He did that at Liverpool on Saturday and hugely disappointed.

Newcastle have waited all season to line up with a well balanced five-man defence and they finally did so at Anfield, but the missing piece disappointed and the Magpies struggled badly.

The Magpies’ season was always likely to be decided by their January business and Kenedy’s status as a loan signing does not excuse him from making an impact.

Given that the Chelsea man struggles to complete the 90 minutes every week, too, costing Rafa Benitez a substitution, the manager must be considering making a change on that flank.

Kenedy has to step up.

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