Hakan Çalhanoğlu has stated that ‘since I have been at Milan things have changed all the time’ and admitted it’s time to think about his future.
Hakan has been a standout performer for the Diavolo since the resumption of the Serie A campaign, playing an important parts in the Rossoneri’s impressive wins over Roma, Lazio and Juventus.
Çalhanoğlu, whose contract expires in June 2021, is a key player for Stefano Pioli and is believed to also be in the plans of future Milan coach Ralf Rangnick.
“From 0-2 to 4-2 against Juventus? It feels very good, we played against a very strong team. After 2-0 we never gave up and we tried to do something and created a lot of chances,” the 26-year-old told Goal.com. “After the penalty Zlatan scored, the confidence returned. It’s an incredible feeling, we’re so happy and now the atmosphere is incredible. We all hope it will continue. We also played well against Juventus in the Coppa Italia, but it was difficult with one player less. With 10 men you have to run more and defend more. That game was in our minds during the league match.
“Milan are proving to be a Dark Beast again for the other big teams? In the past we had lost this trait against the big sides. Now we have beaten Roma, Lazio and now Juventus. If we play as a team, we can be a really good team. Now we are confident because we have beaten three great clubs and it’s not easy to beat them. We know we deserved to be up there, they are beginning to understand that it’s hard to face us. I’m really happy for our coach who motivates us every day. He’s always positive.
“The first meeting with Pioli? He took me to his room and spoke to me saying that he knows me from Leverkusen because I’d played against him when he was coaching Lazio. He told me that he knows my role and my qualities. I told him I like playing as a number 10 because that’s my natural position. He’s given me all the confidence I need to the pitch.
“Ibrahimović with his experience and class also gave security on the field? Age is what it is, but he feels young on the field because he never wants to give up. He’s a great player with a great character, he has a great passion and wants to win every time. When he loses, he’s really angry. That’s normal, considering how much he’s won. He’s a leader in our team. He helps us a lot also off the pitch, we feel really comfortable with him. After training, he’s always giving me some advice on what I can best on the pitch. He’s a real lion, you just have to see how he trains and plays. He always wants to win, also in training. I played with him once and he was furious, he came into the dressing room really angry. That’s what I like to see of him, his mentality is very strong.
“Milan beat Juventus but it will take some more time to see us at the top? I’ve been here for three years, but since I’ve been here things have changed all the time. I’ve already trained with four coaches and directors, the stability is not like before at Milan. Everyone is trying to do the best for the club but something is missing. I hope I can bring Milan back to what it was before.
“I’m finally showing great things? Let’s not forget that I didn’t play for six months when I arrived in Milano. It was very difficult for me to return to the pitch, I was in a bad physical condition. Coming to a big club like Milan, people were expecting a lot from me because they knew me from Leverkusen. The first year I didn’t play the way I wanted to. In the second year I played better day after day and when Gattuso came along, he gave me a lot of energy and pushed me hard. Sometimes he let me play in my role, but tactically he was not like Pioli, he is more defensive. With Pioli we play aggressively and always offensively. Yes, it’s my best year.
“Everyone at Milan expects enormous things? Milan is great and remains great, it’s an incredible club. Everyone knows that. It’s different from Leverkusen, which is a small club but always plays in the Champions League. I came to Milan with all my heart and I want to play in the Champions League with the Rossoneri. That’s where the club must be. I think it’s the time when I have to make a good decision because next season is the last one [of Hakan’s contract]. Now I have seven games ahead of me. I started well after the Coronavirus and I want to keep it that way, then we’ll see what happens in the future. I have to decide with my agent. I love Milan and it’s fantastic for me to wear the number 10 shirt because I know the great players who’ve had it.
“Free kicks? The coach decides who takes them. When I was at Leverkusen, my coach decided to give them to me alone. If anyone came near the ball, he’d get angry. He knew I feel better when I’m alone on the ball, so I can concentrate more. Here I had Suso and now Zlatan, it’s difficult to take the ball from him [laughs]… I want to score on a free kick and I know I can do it. If I stay alone, the confidence within me is stronger. When I take the free kick I want to be alone on the ball and I can decide what to do. When someone else is there, then there are other ideas. It’s the small things but it makes a difference to me.”