“Who has been freed”- Pundit says Ruben Loftus-Cheek is a changed player after swapping Chelsea for AC Milan

Pundit praises Ex-Chelsea player Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s revival at AC Milan

Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin has praised Ruben Loftus-Cheek‘s performance for AC Milan this summer. Nevin was impressed by the midfielder’s aggressive play in Milan’s UCL group stage 0-0 draw with Newcastle on Tuesday.

According to football.london, Nevin was very impressed with Loftus-Cheek’s display and commented that the former long-time Chelsea midfielder showcased technique and flair that was absent during his tenure at Stamford Bridge.

“Without trying to be cheeky, is that guy Loftus-Cheek related in any way to the Ruben who played for Chelsea?”

“He has the ball in midfield, turns and does what he didn’t do at Chelsea. He’s hammered forward and lashed it from 20 yards. “

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek outlines his battle with injuries.
Former Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek making waves at new club AC Milan. (Getty Images)

Nevin said that at Chelsea, Loftus-Cheek often looked hesitant to drive forward and shoot from distance. But the Englishman played with newfound confidence and urgency for Milan against Newcastle.

“He always looked a bit tentative in the final third, look at him here. His first thought is to go on goal. He looks like a player who has been freed by moving from west London.”

Loftus-Cheek joined AC Milan this summer for £15 million after 19 years as a Chelsea man. He had joined the Blues at the age of eight and worked his way up to the first team. In his 157 appearances for Chelsea, he hit the net 10 times and secured 9 assists.

The 27-year-old did not have a very pleasant time at Chelsea. The English international failed to consistently hold down a starting spot, often struggling for form and also frequently got bogged down by injuries.

Loftus-Cheek was one of the many players Chelsea let go this season owing to the full-scale revamp of the team. Having been at the club for over a decade and having been a Cobham graduate, it was especially sad to see him leave.


Loftus-Cheek felt restricted at Chelsea

Playing a box-to-box role, Loftus-Cheek has been more aggressive in attacking areas for the Italian side. He appears revitalized by the change of scenery after so many years at Chelsea. He is also very appreciative of the freedom that Milan’s manager Stefano Pioli has presented him, something he had very limited access to at Stamford Bridge.

As his Chelsea career wound down, the 27-year-old Loftus-Cheek was often deployed as a wing-back rather than his natural midfield position. In a recent interview(h/t Standard), the former Chelsea man pointed out how his unnatural role at Stamford Bridge was restricting him.

“I’ve played in many roles throughout my career, in the last two years mostly in a defensive position, and it wasn’t natural for me. Now, I play in a position where I have more freedom, so I feel good.”

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If Loftus-Cheek can sustain this positive form, his career may be finally back on track. Nevin believes the talented midfielder can still blossom into the player Chelsea once hoped he’d become, even if it required moving to Serie A to rediscover himself. Given Romeo Lavia’s struggles so far and Moises Caicedo’s recent knock, fans would wonder if selling RLC was the right call by the management.