Benitez said sending the player back to parent club Chelsea was NEVER considered in the January window to free up space for another Premier League loan, despite speculation during the window.
“Each year is different," Benitez said. “At the beginning, he was taking some time to settle down here again – they had another baby, so it was taking some time and now he has to start again.
“Kenedy was another player who was training well this week. Everybody could see his potential, so this year, he has to reach his level again and he's working trying to do that. We will see if we can give him his chance.
“Yes. He has the potential – we have seen that, so it is not someone telling you (he has potential). We have seen here how good he is, and he has to go back to his level."
Asked whether Chelsea had been asking why he wasn't playing, Benitez said: “Yes. [Loan player technical coach] Paulo Ferreira, who normally follows players on loan, he was here and we have been talking and when we were there, we were talking with them.
“They know he is not playing at the same level because they can see him when he comes on the pitch."