After several weeks of being continually linked with Chelsea, Fluminense forward Kenedy has finally undergone a medical at the club’s Cobham training base and is on the verge of completing a £6.3 million move to the Premier League champions in the coming days.
The Daily Mail has confirmed the news, stating that the 19-year-old Brazilian under-20 international was in London this week and has reportedly undergone a medical on Tuesday. Kenedy’s transfer is a curious one , as it has allegedly been facilitated by a third party , thought to be a sports investment company , who had signed him two weeks from Fluminense.
Having made his debut in 2013, Kennedy shot to fame in early 2015 after strong displays one after the another, where his ability on the ball, pace and wand of a left foot convinced Chelsea scouts to earmark him as an exceptional talent.
The forward follows his compatriot Nathan Ake into the list of new arrivals at Chelsea. At 19, he is definitely one for the future. However , as has been the case with several Chelsea imports before him , the youngster might struggle for a work permit in the UK, which may ultimately render him ineligible to play in any competitive games for the Premier League champions .
The new set of rules that were introduced by the FA earlier in the year clearly state that for a non European Union (EU) player who does not hold a European passport , the requisite for gaining automatic work permit will be that the player should have appeared in at least 30% of his nation’s competitive matches in the last 24 months. If that’s not the case, then the club have to appeal for an automatic work permit and a panel will decide whether the player is an exceptional case and should he be given a work permit or not.
Needless to say, Kenedy does not satisfy the first criteria , as neither has he been anywhere near the Brazil national team nor does he look likely to do in the near future. As for the appeal that he is an exceptional talent and should therefore be allowed a work permit, the Blues do not have enough evidence to back that claim. As far as gaining an EU passport is concerned, Kenedy will have to spend a sum total of two full seasons in a single league for that to happen.
The only plausible scenario that arises from this fiasco is that Chelsea will loan him out to another club in Europe, most notably Vitesse Arnhem, and hope that he persuades the decision makers by his performances that he indeed is an exceptional talent.