Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Maurizio Sarri will meet each other once again, but perhaps in a different way than they both imagined after their time together at Chelsea.
La Gazzetta dello Sport writes that the big match on Saturday pits Loftus-Cheek against the coach under whom he enjoyed the best year of his career at Chelsea. It was the 2018-19 season where he racked up 40 games, 10 goals, 5 assists and a Europa League win with the Blues.
Sarri wanted Loftus-Cheek at Lazio but in the end arrived at Milan in the summer, after a long puruit by the Rossoneri. For months, Stefano Pioli and the management had identified him as the perfect element to give muscle, dynamism and quality to the midfield, filling the void left by Kessie last season.
Loftus-Cheek received the message and he has so far provided everything that the management and staff hoped that he would, having become an almost immovable starter already.
However, he knows he owes a lot to Sarri: “He was the best coach I met in London. That year was incredible. I played in my favourite position, I was free and carefree.”
With Pioli, in the first Zoom calls, he also touched on this topic: “At Chelsea, both with Sarri and in the Academy, we played with a 4-3-3. It’s the formation in which I feel best.”
With one goal and two assists in six games so far, he has settled in at Milan well. In more than one transfer windows Sarri pushed to have him at Lazio and rebuild the harmony with him in London, but it wasn’t to be. Today they will be opponents, without however affecting their mutual respect.