The road to success for any athlete is often paved with hidden obstacles and unpredictable challenges. While raw talent may be undeniable, it takes more than individual brilliance alone to rise above the rest and fulfill one’s true potential on the field.
Aspiring footballers need not only their own abilities but also external factors working in their favor – factors like having a knowledgeable manager who can cultivate their talent through proper guidance and instruction, teammates who complement their skills and create an environment conducive to growth, and perhaps most intriguingly of all, some lucky luck that can turn ordinary moments into extraordinary opportunities.
For example, Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s journey from Chelsea to AC Milan has seen the English midfielder thrive, but it has come with challenges. Loftus-Cheek, who spent an impressive 19 years at Chelsea, has made waves in Italy since his transfer to AC Milan.
In recent seasons at Chelsea, Loftus-Cheek struggled to gain momentum. He found himself in various roles, with one of the most discomforting being that of a wing-back. The player admitted that this position didn’t feel natural to him.
Loftus-Cheek expressed his sentiments to DAZN, stating, “I’ve played in many roles throughout my career. In the last two years (at Chelsea), mostly in a defensive position, and it wasn’t natural for me. I’ve always liked having the ball at my feet, having the freedom to create, to be decisive. I couldn’t do that in the last two seasons, that way of playing didn’t make me happy.”
During his final years at Chelsea, Loftus-Cheek’s contributions were minimal, with just one goal in all competitions between 2021 and 2023.
However, his mood has taken a significant turn since joining AC Milan. He’s now enjoying a role that provides him with more freedom on the pitch, allowing him to express his creativity.
Speaking of his time at AC Milan, Loftus-Cheek highlighted his contentment with his new position. He also expressed his delight in playing alongside former Chelsea teammate and French icon, Olivier Giroud.
“I love playing with Olivier because he is very good at holding the ball and scoring with headers,” Loftus-Cheek remarked.
The 27-year-old midfielder has indeed been one of AC Milan’s standout performers this season. A remarkable pre-season friendly saw him net a first-half hat-trick, demonstrating his immense potential.