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Chelsea were expected to be a very busy club this summer in relation to players coming in and players departing, and it would appear another name can be added to those exiting Stamford Bridge. Mauricio Pochettino is seemingly happy for certain individuals to leave the Premier League side in order to free up space to bring in some much-needed additions elsewhere.
According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Ruben Loftus-Cheek has completed a switch to Italian Serie A side Milan. The England international midfielder will move on from Chelsea, with Milan being a long-time admirer of the player, who made 25 Premier League appearances last season for the struggling Blues.
Loftus-Cheek was initially sounded out by then Milan technical director Paolo Maldini, but despite the household name being sacked by the San Siro club earlier this month, this has seemingly not jeopardised any move. Milan maintained their interest and Loftus-Cheek is primed to become another former Chelsea man on the Milan roster.
Already, Fikayo Tomori and Olivier Giroud playing their football for the Italian giants after previously playing for Chelsea. Last season, Tiémoué Bakayoko spent time on loan with the club, but he has since been released by Chelsea. Milan boss Stefano Pioli clearly sees something in the player that perhaps many former Chelsea coaches did not see.
Journalists David Ornstein and James Horncastle have reported that the 27-year-old will cost Milan a fee of at least £15million, plus potential add-ons. With personal terms already agreed, there is nothing to stop this deal being officially confirmed in the coming hours. The midfielder, who has 10 England caps, has been on the books at Chelsea since the age of eight.
Loftus-Cheek: Is he right to leave Chelsea?
Whilst Loftus-Cheek will be slightly disappointed with how his time at Chelsea ended, this is a move he surely could not have resisted. Having spent time on loan at Crystal Palace and Fulham in recent seasons as well, the central midfielder needs to stamp down his authority elsewhere if he is to truly make a name for himself and win back his England place.
Despite being a part of the Chelsea first team since 2014, he has only started 47 Premier League games, and has clearly found it hard to really hold down a regular spot in the team. Under the management of Graham Potter last season, Loftus-Cheek was tried out in a wing-back position, in an experiment which we can’t necessarily claim to be much of a success.
It could just be a case of the player needing to try something new. To be at any club for that length of time and not be a regular is difficult, but he will have a much better opportunity to play more frequently with Milan. Having some familiar faces like Tomori and Giroud to welcome him into his new club will also stand as a positive for Loftus-Cheek in helping him settle in.
Fixtures for the new Serie A season are yet to be released, but Loftus-Cheek will look to make his unofficial debut for the club during pre-season when the club takes on Real Madrid, Barcelona and rivals Juventus over the coming weeks. He too will be joining a club taking part in the UEFA Champions League, which Chelsea won’t be doing.
As for Chelsea, it looks as though Loftus-Cheek won’t be the last man to be leaving this summer. Kai Havertz is strongly linked with a move away, and a switch to a Premier League rival is closer to becoming official. Already, Mateo Kovačić has departed for the Premier League champions, and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is primed to be the latest to switch to Saudi Arabia.
It isn’t all negative though in terms of just players exiting as Pochettino will be able to call upon the services of the talented Christopher Nkunku after he made the move from RB Leipzig. See how the forward could line up in the Chelsea team in the upcoming season. The new season is only a few weeks’ away.
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