Ruben Loftus-Cheek excellent display proven right Thomas Tuchel

Ruben Loftus-Cheek excellent display proven right Thomas Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel once called on Ruben Loftus-Cheek to “discover the monster” within him at Chelsea. While it was not at the Blues, the midfielder has certainly found said monster this season with AC Milan.

Sold by Chelsea in the summer of 2023 with his contract in its final stages, Loftus-Cheek has excelled in Milan. The 28-year-old midfielder, who was at the Blues from the age of eight until 27, has scored nine goals in all competitions this season for the Rossoneri but such form still saw him left out of the England squad for their upcoming friendlies.

There has been some outrage online, particularly from Chelsea supporters who still seem to have an affiliation with Loftus-Cheek, about the midfielder’s exclusion from Gareth Southgate’s plans. Either way, Loftus-Cheek will continue to push himself in the remaining games of the season as he looks to receive a spot in England’s squad for this summer’s European Championships.

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In the summer of 2023, Loftus-Cheek, who seemed quite content at Stamford Bridge despite having a bit-part role within the squad, had to make a big decision. Chelsea were willing to let him go given his status in the squad, his contract situation (expired in June 2024) and the fact that any sale would account for pure profit because he came through the club’s academy system.

Chelsea chose to sell Loftus-Cheek for around £15million to help fall in line with the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR). And ever since, he has gone on to prove the likes of Todd Boehly and the Blues’ board wrong with his performances and re-emergence at Milan.

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He has, however, proven former Chelsea boss Tuchel right. “He needs to push himself to the limit; he needs to be physical,” Tuchel said in 2022. “He needs to discover this monster in him and unleash this on a regular basis because it is absolutely necessary.

“It is not enough to be just on the pitch. Maybe if you regard his last years, it may seem good because he is a regular but this is not enough. We cannot let him think it is enough, he needs to constantly push himself.

“We try every day and are quite successful given his development. He needs to understand how much potential he has and unleash this physical capacity on the daily. In training he cannot let loose. He needs to be under pressure and play every game like a cup final.”

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Despite having a deep love for Chelsea, a club he has been with for the majority of his lifetime, Loftus-Cheek knew he had to leave at the end of last season. He felt like a “caged animal” at times, which falls in line with Tuchel’s comments.

“At Chelsea I felt like a caged animal,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I didn’t play as much as I wanted and when it happened I played in positions where I couldn’t express myself.

“Here, however, I have a free mind, I play as a midfielder as I like and it’s like being a child again, when we played without worries. If the whole team has this feeling, great things can be achieved: even winning the championship. We feel like the best.”

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