Calhanoglu is the embodiment of… Seedorf
Looking through the mirror, Hakan Calhanoglu seems to be the embodiment of modern-day Seedorf and Pirlo. More than 20 years ago, the two midfielders mentioned above were estranged from Inter to become a legend under the shirt of neighboring Milan with many times rubbing salt into the pain of the old team. Now it’s Calhanoglu’s turn to do the same thing but in the opposite direction.
Calhanoglu came to Inter on a free transfer from Milan in the summer of 2021 in the anger of the red and black striped fans, who branded him a “traitor” when not only refused to renew his contract but signed with him. city rival. But Calhanoglu almost immediately won great sympathy from Inter fans because of both his performance on the field and his fierce attitude against the old team in the same city, despite the ironic fate of the Scudetto transferred from Inter’s hands. to Milan in the very first season he left.
In this 2023, Inter clashed with Milan all 3 times and won, in which Calhanoglu turned “pain into action”, always leaving a bold mark. In a 1-0 victory in Serie A on February 5, the Turkish midfielder took a dangerous corner to help Lautaro Martinez head to bring the minimum victory for Inter. And most recently, in the semi-final first leg of the Champions League, Calhanoglu was the assist for Dzeko to open the scoring from a corner, before a “cannonball” hit the post when the score was already 2. -0 for Inter. If the finish is successful, Inter can now “sleep pillow high” waiting for the final kick.
However, while Seedorf and Pirlo were very respectful of the old shirt, Calhanoglu was constantly “making war” with the Milanistas. Especially in the derby in November 2021, after scoring, instead of refusing to celebrate Calhanoglu, he did it very jubilantly, even spreading his hands over his ears to provoke the Milanistas as a way to respond. Ibra has repeatedly provoked him and Inter.
Calhanoglu is increasingly important for Inter
To be fair, Calhanoglu this season has not scored or assisted as many as last season. So far, Hakan has only had 4 goals and 8 passes to “clean up” for teammates, far behind the number of 8 goals and 17 assists in the first season with the Nerazzurri.
However, Hakan now, along with Nicolo Barella and Henrikh Mkhitarya, has become the nucleus of Inter’s midfield, an important key to bringing Inter to the Champions League semi-finals after 13 years of waiting and more importantly, Calhanoglu’s contributions are meaningful. more practical. For example, his surprise goal in a close 1-0 victory at Barca indirectly helped Inter overcome the difficult group stage, where they were in the “group of death” with the presence of the big man Bayern.
Hakan’s role at Inter now is not much different from Seedorf in Milan before, he is a card midfielder and always has the potential to threaten opponents with long shots. This season, Calhanoglu played deeper and thanks to that, the long balls were effective, when Martinez or Lukaku were often given opportunities to finish.
Milan need two goals to turn the situation around, but must also keep an eye on Calhanoglu, both in set-pieces and in transitions of the opponent, or the gap is not to be deepened.
Not only Calhanoglu is ‘high quality free goods’
Calhanoglu is one of six free signings in the Inter squad to play in the 2-0 win over Milan in the first leg of the 2022/23 Champions League semi-final. The other five players are Onana, Acerbi, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco and Dzeko. The total value of that squad is only 105 million euros (Barella 32 million euros, Bastoni 31, Lautaro Martinez 25, Dumfries 14, Darmian 3).