Ex-Chelsea star reveals what ‘convinced’ him to leave for European giants – ‘it wasn’t natural for me’

Lewis Oldham
Ex-Chelsea player criticises club
Former Chelsea pair Kai Havertz and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

England international Ruben Loftus-Cheek has spoken out about his Chelsea exit following his move to Serie A giants AC Milan.

The midfielder was highly-rated throughout his time at Stamford Bridge but he was unable to fully live up to expectations during his time with the Premier League club.

Loftus-Cheek was arguably at his best when he was operated in attacking midfield, but he was regularly played as a right wing-back during the latter stages of his Chelsea career.

The 27-year-old secured a move away from Chelsea earlier this summer as he joined Serie A outfit AC Milan on a permanent basis. They paid around £15m plus add-ons to sign him from the Blues.

Loftus-Cheek has enjoyed a strong start in Italy as he has featured prominently for AC Milan in their first three games of the 2023/24 Serie A season. He has already grabbed two assists and he is now being operated in his favoured position in the middle of midfield.

The former Blues star has now admitted that it “didn’t make him happy” when he was playing as a wing-back for Chelsea.

“I’ve played in many roles throughout my career,” Loftus-Cheek told DAZN. “In the last two years mostly in a defensive position, and it wasn’t natural for me.

“I’ve always liked having the ball at my feet, having the freedom to create, to be decisive. I couldn’t do that in the last two seasons, that way of playing didn’t make me happy.

“Now, I play in a position where I have more freedom, so I feel good.”

READ MORE: Fati 3), Lavia 13), Raya 25) – ranking £650m worth of signings by how excited we are for their debut

When asked about how his move to AC Milan came about, Loftus-Cheek added: “After I played against them in the Champions League, Milan said they were interested in me.

“I wasn’t thinking too much about it, there was a lot of the season left at Chelsea, but towards the end, things changed. Milan have always been a great club, after speaking with [Stefano] Pioli I was convinced to come here.”

Loftus-Cheek has also revealed that AC Milan head coach Pioli wants him to be “physically dominant in midfield”.

“He wants me to be physically dominant in midfield. I think one of my characteristics is the ability to overcome many players with strength, speed and power,” Loftus-Cheek continued.

“It’s something I rely on a lot, that’s my contribution as a player. The more I can show that on the pitch, the more dominant I can be to help the team.”

READ MORE: Transfer gossip… Chelsea eye early Toney deal as Juve look to Arsenal for Pogba replacement