It is that time of the season again. That time of the season where everyone starts to keep an third eye open for their club in the hope of the squad being bolstered. And when it comes to Manchester United, the rumors fly very quickly. A player who has been linked with the red devils recently is Hakan Calhanoglu. The reliable journalist Christian Falk went as far as stating that there is a 90% chance of the deal happening.
Hakan Calhanoglu is a 26 year old Turkish international who has represented his country on every single age level starting from the U16s. For the senior international side, he has made 52 appearances and scored 11 goals. Calhanoglu started his senior career at Karlsruher SC before moving to Hamburger SV. He first came into prominence when he joined Bayer Leverkusen. He played 115 matches for Bayer and directly contributed 57 goals. Then he joined AC Milan on the summer of 2017 and has been ever-present for them.
Style of Play
Hakan Calhanoglu is a playmaker in general. His job is to create goals for himself and his teammates. In terms of playing positions, he usually operates from the left wing or in the number 10 role. He likes to cut in from the left side of the pitch and have shots from distance or play lay-offs to teammates. He is a good crosser of the ball as well from the wide. But his strongest attribute is his set-piece prowess. Be it corners, wide free kicks or direct ones, he is brilliant on all of them. And like majority of playmakers, his weakness is his aerial ability.
Hakan Calhanoglu has played 14 matches so far for AC Milan. He has 4 goals and 4 assists in those games. He has mainly played as a number 10 in those games this season. In the season before that, he played in 38 matches and directly contributed 20 goals from mainly in the same role or from the left wing. It is fair to say that he has been in pretty decent form over the last two seasons and one might say that he is yet to reach his peak.
Hakan Calhanoglu’s contract with AC Milan runs out at the end of this season. He is free to negotiate with foreign clubs starting from January. And signing him on a free transfer might be a very smart piece of business from United. Considering Jack Grealish has signed a new contract with Aston Villa, he would likely command a fee in the region of £80m. Hakan Calhanoglu is very much like a Grealish mold player and it is not a secret that United are very much interested in a player like that.
Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira have underperformed massively over the last season. So ideally if he does come to United, it would be to replace them. No transfer fee also means the transfer will be a low risk one from United’s point of view, provided the club does not end up paying him an obscene amount of salary. Calhanoglu will be a squad option and may well be a valuable one at that.