Ruben Loftus-Cheek: AC Milan midfielder ‘wasn’t content’ with Chelsea role

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

AC Milan new boy Ruben Loftus-Cheek says frustration at the way he was being used by Chelsea was the trigger for his £15m summer move.

Loftus-Cheek, 27, had been with Chelsea for almost two decades.

“I love the club and the fans but I wasn’t feeling content with the amount I was playing and the positions I was playing in,” the midfielder said.

He scored seven goals in 155 appearances and won the Premier League twice, as well as the Europa League, during his time at the club.

However, his 33 appearances last term included only 19 top-flight starts as Chelsea finished in a disappointing 12th spot and he did not see a future at the club in his preferred role as a box-to-box midfielder.

The England international said: “I felt I had more to give but I wasn’t getting the opportunity.

“I feel good physically and am playing some really good football. It was a good time to move on.”

Loftus-Cheek’s first taste of life as an AC Milan player is set to come in the United States later this month when the club embark on a high-profile pre-season tour that includes matches against Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid and Barcelona, either side of an all-Serie A meeting with Juventus in Los Angeles on 27 July.

Visiting the US will bring back memories for the Lewisham-born player given he got his first taste of senior action in the country during a post-season tour with Chelsea in a match that broke new ground at the iconic Yankee Stadium baseball arena in 2013.

It was also the country where Loftus-Cheek’s career was derailed in 2019 when he suffered a major Achilles injury that kept him out for 11 months, and which he now describes as the worst moment of his career.

Loftus-Cheek spoke to another former Chelsea team-mate, Fikayo Tomori, who moved to AC Milan in 2021, before signing, and he is already looking forward to the arrival of USA winger Pulisic.

“He has huge talent,” said Loftus-Cheek. “He is dynamic, quick and can score goals.

“In the lockdown period, under Frank Lampard, he was incredible and if he can reproduce that again, he would be a top addition to the team.”

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