Newcastle fans have had to endure some painful clashes with top six Premier League sides this season, with media criticism of Rafa Benitez’s tactics not helping the spectacle.

Rafa has preferred a five-man defence against both Chelsea and Manchester City, but he lacked a genuine left wing-back at the time and it made for wretched viewing.

Matt Ritchie, Javier Manquillo, Paul Dummett and Massadio Haidara have filled in, but they have lacked either the attacking capabilities or defensive capabilities to fulfil the role.

But Kenedy arrived in January and we can finally look forward to Newcastle lining up with a natural wing-back.

It is likely that we will see Kenedy in this position against Manchester United on Sunday, assuming Rafa again prefers that 5-4-1 system.

The Brazilian’s versatility and ability to play anywhere on the left flank was blatantly key in the decision to sign him, continuing to pursue the Chelsea man despite an initially hopeless pursuit.

Rafa is finally putting together a team in his image, with the option of using different systems, along with a new centre forward – Islam Slimani – and, in Martin Dubravka, a ball-playing goalkeeper.

It has not been an easy season for Newcastle fans so far, but there might be a little more enjoyment in seeing a carefully formed side tackle the run-in.

With Kenedy signed only to a loan deal – along with the other new signings – the hope is that this is not short-lived optimism…

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