Ruben Loftus-Cheek was just minutes away from being the hero for AC Milan against Bologna. However, even though his brace was cancelled by a late equaliser, the Englishman showed just what he can do for the Rossoneri.
The Englishman started in the No.10 role once again, playing close to Olivier Giroud, and impressed in the transition phase. Above all, however, he chose the right times to get into the box. The latter is what resulted in the two goals, finding the open space in Bologna’s defence.
As highlighted by Gazzetta dello Sport (see photo below), Loftus-Cheek was indeed the protagonist of the game, driving Milan forward as the all-rounder that he is. One goal with his foot, one goal with his head, but both after making his way into the penalty box in the same manner.
At Chelsea, as the midfielder himself said, he felt like he was in a cage by playing in roles that didn’t suit his qualities. This has certainly changed at Milan, with Stefano Pioli not allowing him to roam free in a more advanced role, which changes depending on the opponents.
In 22 games this season, he has found the back of the net five times and is heading for his personal best (10 goals in a season). That was back in 2018-19, when Maurizio Sarri was the manager of Chelsea, and the role he had then is similar to the one he has now.
In 2024, no other midfielder has scored in as many games as Loftus-Cheek in the top-five leagues (3), while only Empoli’s Szymon Zurkowski has as many goals (4).