MN: Explosiveness and flexibility – Loftus-Cheek back to levels under Sarri

By Oliver Fisher -

Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s return to the starting line-up saw AC Milan change gear radically against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night, and his dominant performance means it was not a coincidence.

As MilanNews writes, if there were any lingering doubts that Loftus-Cheek was one of the most successful and important summer signings by the club, they were surely eliminated under the San Siro lights.

What is interesting is the role that he played, something we talked about in our tactical analysis. It was akin to the position he played and the freedom he enjoyed while Maurizio Sarri was Chelsea boss.

“The season with Sarri was the best, the role I played with him was my favourite. I played in different roles, but in that one I felt more comfortable [as a mezzala] and that’s why I came here, to play in my favorite position and to try to get back to the numbers under Sarri,” he said.

Loftus-Cheek is a Chelsea youth academy graduate who learned a lot there, as well as on loan at Crystal Palace and Fulham. While with the Blues, Sarri certainly had the most profound impact on his young career by making him a key cog in his 4-3-3 system.

The Englishman established himself as a starter as well as in the following season with Thomas Tuchel. His role model is Frank Lampard, who he also had as coach in the last final part of the (disastrous) season at Chelsea.

The numbers tell the story: with Loftus-Cheek on the field Milan had 7 wins, 1 draw, 2 defeats (but one of these was against Udinese when he came on late) with 1.7 goals per game and 2.2 points per game on average.

Without him, the stats read as follows: 1 win, 2 draws, 2 defeats at 1 point per game and just 0.6 goals per game on average. RLC is crucial just as he was under Sarri, something he set out to be.

Tags AC Milan Ruben Loftus-Cheek


  1. Pioli has to manage his gametime, to not overload a player get injured often. He must use him cleverly.
    Especially the grass in San siro is not so good and it leads to injuries very often

    1. And in London? It is him, not the coach or the pitch. But he is playing good so it is worth the risk in the end. Same like Pulisic, you know he won’t go through a season without a few minor injuries, same with RLC. You can just hope there won’t be bigger ones.

      1. I think RLC and Pulisic need to be rotated more often, they fall into that category of easy to injure players (Bennacer also falls into that category). Although that won’t be easy, given how difficult games can be sometimes and that we don’t have reliable alternatives.

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