GdS: New role, No.9 instincts and Euros dream as Loftus-Cheek shines for Milan

By Isak Möller -

Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored a brace in AC Milan’s 3-0 win against Stade Rennes mid-week, finding the back of the net with two headers. In his ‘new role’, he has become a key player for the Rossoneri and can now dream of the Euros with England. 

Loftus-Cheek was named the MOTM in our player ratings for the game and it was his sixth goal since the start of the year, as highlighted by Gazzetta dello Spott (see photo below). This also means that he is Milan’s top goalscorer ahead of Luka Jovic at four goals and Olivier Giroud at three goals.

Comparisons being made

To some, as the pink newspaper continues, Loftus-Cheek’s playing style reminds them of the former Milan players Franck Kessie and Kevin-Prince Boateng. For Stefano Pioli, however, the Englishman is more similar to Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Interestingly, the last Milan midfielder to bag a brace in a European knockout stage clash was Ricky Kaka in 2007, when he did it against Manchester United. Not to suggest that Loftus-Cheek should be compared to Kaka, absolutely not, but his No.9 instincts in the penalty box are impressive.

Loftus-Cheek was a driving force when Chelsea lifted the Europa League trophy five years ago, now he’s the driving force of Milan who put on a show against Rennes. “We have the qualities to win the Europa League’, the midfielder stated.

His new role and Pioli’s push

Deployed as an attacking midfielder by Pioli, Loftus-Cheek has seemingly found the perfect role for his qualities. “This is the position I prefer because I’m closer to the goal. I’m playing closer to the area to score more and be decisive,” he stated himself.

Indeed, Milan and Pioli have been reaping the rewards of Loftus-Cheek’s resurgence at the start of this year and the manager also deserves a lot of credit in that sense. “He has to stay inside the area and also score with his head,” he said after the goal against Empoli at the start of January.

He had a similar role at Chelsea in the 2018-19 season under Maurizio Sarri, when he bagged 10 goals in 40 appearances. Now, meanwhile, he’s already 7 goals in 26 appearances (in 2024, the average is a goal every 107 minutes, like a striker).

Continuity key for Euros dream

Arriving at Milan in the summer for a mere €16m plus bonuses, the midfielder’s value has now increased to €25m and there is more potential to take advantage of. Indeed, Loftus-Cheek can even dream of making his return to the English national team for the Euros.

It’s been five years since he was last called up and having left the injury struggles behind, the recent continuity could be absolutely crucial for him. Just three more goals are needed to equal his personal best and with a good run in the Europa League, it will be impossible for Gareth Southgate to ignore the former Chelsea man.

Tags AC Milan England Ruben Loftus-Cheek


    1. It’ll also be interesting to see what they say when he doesn’t have his one good game per 2 months 😂. The fawning articles always come out when he had a good game like he’s the second coming. Then the ones where he stunk….radio silence. It’s a trend I’ve noticed

      1. Honestly he has improved quite well scoring wise (6 goals in the last 8 games) and he does put pressure on the opposition when they have the ball.
        I just don’t think he has the vision, quick decivness and passing required for a playmaker and I just don’t think he can improve a lot on that.
        Him as an attacking midfielder seems to work when we’re sitting back and countering, since playmaking is not a priority and we’re essentially reacting AND against small fries where tactics don’t matter that much anyways.

          1. It’s definetly something worth testing. Perhaps next summer or even when/if we have a game we can afford not to win.
            Frankly I’m not really sure how well he can succeed as a striker. There is a world of difference between between being the main focus and between coming from behind and overloading the opposition’s defense. But again that’s something that has to be tried.

        1. I’ll give you the improvement part. That he has. I’m not saying he isn’t good but he’s been a bit overrated and an insane amount of articles come out when he has an above average display. Smaller teams he does well. And seems he’s more a support striker anyway. I still say try him in the pivot

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