Çalhanoğlu: “I’ve always said I want to play as a trequartista, since my arrival here my characteristics have changed”

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Hakan Çalhanoğlu during Udinese-Milan at Stadio Friuli on August 25, 2019. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Hakan Çalhanoğlu has stated ‘coach Giampaolo says I am an all-round player’ and claimed it has been too long since his last free kick goal.

Çalhanoğlu spoke to Sky Italia earlier today but he also had an interview with MilanTV, discussing several things ahead of Saturday’s game against Brescia (18:00 CEST kickoff at Stadio San Siro):

“I am pleased to be in Milan’s starting XI, it’s not easy to always earn a spot on the pitch. But, as they say, it means I must be doing something right,” he said.

“My role? I like playing as a trequartista but the coach has the final say. It is not my decision to make, I play wherever the coach tells me to. My position always changes, either I’m a playmaker or a mezz’ala, it’s not easy to master and understand all the roles because, the system always changes on the pitch when playing as a mazz’ala; the playmaker’s role is different from that of a mezz’ala. It’s a different role all together. Coach Giampaolo says I’m an all-round player probably because I’m an intelligent player and I quickly understood what he wants.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu during training at Milanello. (@acmilan.com)

“This is why people wonder what my exact role on the pitch is. I’ve always said that I want to play as a trequartista. But for the moment I have to just perform at a 100 percent on the pitch whether I play as a mezz’ala or as a playmaker or in any other role in general. The coach always has the final say.

“Scoring more? I’ve always been a good shooter, even in my former team, so the opponents would immediately try to attack me. Now, it’s much harder. I feel bad for not being able to do things well at the moment, I too want to play well for Milan. I want to take my free kicks well, it’s been too long [since I scored].

“But, as I said before, my characteristics have changed since my arrival in Italy because, the coach and the style of play is different compared to that of Germany. Everything is different than it was before and this is my new nature. In order to perform well I have to be able to apply what the coach asks of me.

Hakan Çalhanoğlu and Suso celebrating during Real Betis-Milan at Estadio Benito Villamarín on November 8, 2018. (CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP/Getty Images)

“Free-kicks? This is how I grew up. I’m renowned for my free-kicks and it is part of who I am. With all due respect to Suso though. He too is a great free kick taker. When there is a free kick to be taken, we decide together. If he decides to take it, I leave it to him because he has good feet and this is how we negotiate on the pitch.

“Playing with Suso? He understands my style of play and my movements and the same goes for me. This is a good thing, we relate well on the pitch. When I get the chance I always look to pass it to Suso, because he always pulls off something creative when he’s with the ball. It’s important to understand such a player. There was a time we played with a 3-5-2 formation with Gattuso and we were closely linked, we played well.

Krzysztof Piątek and Hakan Çalhanoğlu celebrating during Chievo-Milan at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi on March 10, 2019. (@acmilan.com)
Krzysztof Piątek and Hakan Çalhanoğlu celebrating during Chievo-Milan at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi on March 10, 2019. (@acmilan.com)

“It’s in the past though, with all due respect to other coaches like Montella and Gattuso. We play with a different system this season and we need time to be able to perform well and as the coach requires of us. Everything has changed now including our positioning and roles on the pitch. I believe we are on the right path though, we have the right mentality and positive spirit to do well. But, in order to perform well we need more time.

“Piątek’s lack of goals? He is a true forward we all saw his goals last season, they were incredible. He is a quality striker. He will be back to scoring goals soon, and I like playing with him because he is a strong forward.”

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The Big Dog
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The Big Dog

One thing I love about Calhanoglu is that he is too generous. It’s not paying back because others are too selfish. ”When I get the chance I always look to pass it to Suso” says Hakan This proves my analyses right that Suso and his wing has about 60-70 percent ball possession in attack. I wish Suso was like that just as generous. IF only Hakan would be less kind to Suso and be more competitive sharing the ball equally on both wings vs just pass the ball all the time to Suso, Calhanoglu would be scorings at least 15… Read more »

Niels8
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Niels8

Being too generous are more often a problem.. if he really is, that’s the problem, and no wonder he did not perform well.. you have to strike the balance between generosity and selfishness.

Ink
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Ink

Sorry but what about those horrible attempted shots, attempted passes (not to Suso), dreadful corners+free kicks, lethargic displays and all around horrible decision-making?
Hakan is not the solution at all.

Emmy Apache
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U have said it right and I love u for saying it. The first time we bought him I was so happy hoping every free kick no matter the distance will be a goal because of the way he was playing in Germany before we bought him. He’s never been so close to milan quality to me. Very lazy. I remembered when we lost to Juventus in Turin he caused the 3rd goal Meanwhile on the transfer market our management did not do well and as a result of this I won’t be surprised if Inter Milan repeat the 4-0… Read more »

Alexmilan
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Alexmilan

For a player who was used out of position every time since his arrival in Milan he played very good. He also had sentimental problems last year, I hope he will be used as a trequartista helping him to recalibrate his shooting and score more goals

Nino
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Nino

If Hakan Çalhanoğlu has been dedicated to practising and improving his free kicks, he’ll be better at it. He doesn’t need a coach to tell him to do that. It’s a decision you make; to come early than others to training and work on your freekicks and set-pieces; to stay back when the group session ends just to be better at what you do.