Ruben Loftus-Cheek has explained the reasoning behind choosing to join AC Milan and leave Chelsea, citing the opportunity to become a leader.
Loftus-Cheek became Milan’s second signing of the summer after Marco Sportiello, joining on a four-year deal from Chelsea where he had come through the academy. Fabrizio Romano reported that the fee paid is an initial €16m plus €4m in add-ons.
We published a comprehensive analysis of the English midfielder including his background, his style of play, strengths and weaknesses, and fans saw him in action for the first time yesterday at the first day of preseason training.
Loftus-Cheek spoke to the reporters who gathered at Milanello for his first official press conference as a Milan player, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.
What emotions did you have yesterday at the first day of preseason?
“During the Milan-Chelsea game in the Champions League I was impressed by the atmosphere in the stadium. The support from the fans is extraordinary, I saw great passion.”
At Milan you meet Tomori again. What did he tell you about the club?
“When things started to evolve I spoke a lot with Tomori. He told me I would love it, the fans are fantastic and always support you. I know the long history of Milan. I don’t speak Italian yet, so Tomori told me helped on that too. I hope to learn the Italian language soon.”
Is there any Rossoneri midfielder from the past that you admire?
“I loved seeing how Kakà played. I don’t want to compare myself to him, but his way of running with the ball is a source of inspiration. Pirlo was also an extraordinary player, even if he was a little different from me.”
You will wear the number 8 shirt…
“I know how much this number means at Milan. It shows my ambition.”
What are Milan’s goals this season?
“This season we have to work to keep improving. We will have to try to win everything we play in. It will be challenging, but that’s our aim.”
You had a good spell under Maurizio Sarri…
“Maybe that, in terms of numbers, was my best season. I played in my favourite position in that season. I would like to play in that position. In recent years I’ve had some injuries and I’ve played in more defensive positions.”
Did Maldini and Massara try to sign you?
“When I played against Milan in the Champions League, after that match, Maldini told me he was impressed by my performances. This possibility arose from there and has become increasingly concrete.”
Have you spoken with Pulisic?
“Pulisic will arrive tomorrow. We’ve already spoken, he’ll give us a big hand.”
You arrive in a midfield that needs to be rebuilt…
“Yes, I’m ready. I’ve had some injuries, now I feel good, to help the team and also be a leader.”
What can the decision to come to Milan bring you?
“I’m really happy to be here. I want to give my contribution to the team. I spent many years at Chelsea, but in recent years I was not satisfied with my contribution, I was unable to excel and so I think this was the right time to change team and be able to contribute.”
In which position do you want to use Pioli?
“Before signing I also spoke to the coach about my role. I played in other roles at Chelsea. I always try to give my best. I’m really happy to be here.”
Why did you choose Milan?
“The history of Milan, there have been many great players here. I couldn’t say no to Milan. Here I can grow a lot. A new adventure is starting and it’s a great opportunity.”
Are you aiming to get back into the England team like Tomori?
“If Tomori continues like this, he will return to the national team. It is an objective to return to the national team, but now I only want to think about Milan. At the moment, the national team is not my priority.”
What are the differences between the Premier League and Serie A?
“I’ll tell you in a few months. I want to bring my physicality here.”
Who is your favourite technician?
“I’ve had several good coaches at Chelsea, perhaps the one who gave me the most was Sarri. I have great respect for him. I did well with him.”
How many goals would you like to score?
“I want to play in a position that allows me to score more goals. I want to give my contribution and reach important numbers, but I don’t want to put pressure on myself.”
Are you good on set pieces?
“I’m tall, I’m a very physical player, so I can also give my contribution on set pieces.”
Is it possible for Milan to switch from 4-2-3-1 to 4-3-3?
“I think the role I find best is in a three-man midfield. I feel at ease. If the 4-3-3 is chosen I’ll be happy, but I adapt to what the coach chooses.”