Football News

“I get a few more yellow cards” – Hakan Calhanoglu enjoying new role at Inter

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 13:00, 4 December 2023

Hakan Calhanoglu says he is happy to enter the referee’s book while excelling in his new deep-lying role for Inter.

The 29-year-old Turkey international was a free agent when he joined Inter in 2021 following a stint at city rivals Milan.


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Before this season Calhanoglu regularly played as Inter’s attacking midfielder, but the departure of Marcelo Brozović this summer has seen head coach Simone Inzaghi re-jig his lineup.

One notable change was moving the Mannheim native into a deep-lying playmaker role which he’s enjoying despite the risks attached.

“I always did have that hunger to help the team, you are just not used to seeing it,” he said after Inter’s recent 3-0 win over Napoli. “I can say it is not easy to be a playmaker after being a trequartista. I analysed many situations, the staff helped me. I get a few more yellow cards, but that’s just part of the role.”

To pick up on the point be brought up. Calhanoglu has so far picked up four yellow cards (17 appearances in all competitions) while playing closer to Inter’s backline. He’s subsequently conceded 24 fouls in Serie A which for midfielders ranks him only behind Bryan Cristante (30) and when it comes to producing tackles Calhanoglu (35) sits behind Roberto Gagliardini (36) and Morten Frendrup (59).

Calhanoglu scored his sixth goal of the season in that aforementioned success against last season’s Serie A winners. He’s now bagged four goals in his last six league appearances which is as many as he netted across his previous 39 matches in the Italian top-flight.

His effort, which put the visitors ahead, was a wonderful first-time strike from 25 yards. Since 2018, only James Maddison (22) and Kevin De Bruyne (25) have scored more goals outside the box than Calhanoglu (21) among midfielders playing across Europe’s big five leagues in all competitions.

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