Loftus-Cheek’s growing importance at AC Milan: International break offers Rossoneri derby advantage over Inter

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is one of many new players at AC Milan and he has made a great start to life in Serie A. His conduct during the international break has already shown how important he is to Stefano Pioli's side.

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When joining AC Milan from Chelsea, some may have thought that it would take new signing Ruben Loftus-Cheek longer to adapt to Serie A. However, the Englishman looks at home in the new Rossoneri midfield, bringing calmness, control, and confidence to Stefano Pioli‘s side.

His impact has been felt as Milan currently remains only one of two sides to go into the international break with a perfect record. To add to the narrative, the other side is Inter, Milan‘s city rival.

With a Derby Della Madonnina awaiting after the break, Milan will be glad to see one of this season’s reliable faces around Casa Milan throughout the next two weeks. 

How Milan are better off with Loftus-Cheek during the international break

AC Milan’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek. [@acmilan]

It is already hard to imagine a Milan midfield without the 27-year-old despite only having played three games. Making the No.8 jersey and a place in the first-choice midfield three his own straight away, the Diavolo haven’t looked back since signing the Englishman in July. 

He brings the perfect mix of everything to Pioli’s new midfield which seems to be Loftus-Cheek, Rade Krunic and Tijjani Reijnders. Pioli even said during the American tour: “Ruben is strong. He combines physicality and quality, he likes to get involved with the attack.”

Given his experience playing in a three-man midfield, Loftus-Cheek has almost all of the tools needed to play anywhere in the three and has shown this for Milan already, performing in both the more advanced role in pre-season and acting as an anchor in the game against Bologna

Loftus-Cheek‘s defensive awareness and tactical versatility have allowed Davide Calabria to invert into the midfield more regularly, altering the way Milan play yet again.

Milan’s international attendees

Ruben Loftus-Cheek in action for AC Milan. [@acmilan]

For Pioli, his side is already at somewhat of a slight advantage for the Derby della Madonnina as 15 of his 25-man-squad have departed to represent their respective national sides. Inter coach Simone Inzaghi is left with only seven players training over the break, meaning preparations are seriously truncated.

Loftus-Cheek and Davide Calabria remain the only two members of the Rossoneri’s favoured starting eleven to not be called up for this set of international fixtures which bodes well for how well people are playing.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Englishman already is assisting Calabria with leading training, whilst also taking time to add to his own game. Pioli is focusing mainly on ensuring the 27-year-old’s defensive game is near perfect, as Inter will punish any vulnerability given their strong start to the season. 

Furthermore, it also allows the midfielder to further adjust to living in the city, something that will only improve his performance if he feels truly at home. 

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