• News

Conte denies that Kenedy was punished for his “China comments”


Chelsea are about to face Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup quarterfinal and Antonio Conte admitted that youngster Kenedy will be one of the players given a chance to show up in this match.

Kenedy made some derogatory comments about China on social media and Chelsea had to send him home from their tour in this country – and it forced them to apologize for the player publicly. But Antonio Conte denied that Kenedy’s position was somehow affected by this incident and his lack of playing time has nothing to do with that.

The Italian coach spoke about this incident as he said, according to ESPN: “This is the past. It happened, but we stop [there]. When we came back from China and Kenedy started training with us, I had to make a technical decision and it’s only this. I have to make technical decisions every game. In this case, he deserves to have this opportunity to play and show he deserves to play for Chelsea.”

He also praised the youngster for his professionalism: “Kenedy tried to give everything during training. During these five months, the behaviour, the commitment was perfect. I think it’s right, for this reason, to give him the opportunity and the chance to play an important game. I have to trust my players. Not only with words, but with facts. To show I trust my players and I want to give them a big opportunity in a big game to show me they deserve to play.”

In the end, Antonio Conte insisted that he has got a lot of young players that deserve a chance: “These players are the future for Chelsea. Sterling is a really good player for Chelsea. Odoi won the World Cup. Ampadu played the last game against Everton [from the substitutes’ bench]. Maybe he could start also tomorrow.”