Calhanoglu to Man Utd – what does that mean for Bruno Fernandes?

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald
  • Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST
  • 2 min read
Calhanoglu to Man Utd – what does that mean for Bruno Fernandes?

Man Utd are reportedly keen on signing Milan attacking midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu on a free transfer this summer, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eager for some competition for places in attacking areas.

The Turkey international is enjoying a decent season with the Rossoneri, but as of yet hasn’t put pen to paper on an extended deal, with his current contract running out in the summer of 2021.

As of 1 January, he’ll be free to talk to other clubs about a free transfer.

United are leading the race for his signature at the moment, which could lead to some rotation in 2020/21.

Where would Calhanoglu fit in at Man Utd?

Calhanoglu’s favourite position is in the number 10 role behind the striker, but unfortunately for him that role is already held down by Bruno Fernandes at Old Trafford.

At the moment, United don’t really have a truly creative backup for Fernandes in the space behind the striker, so it is likely that Solskjaer is looking to take advantage of a player being out of contract to bring him in as back up.

StatBruno FernandesHakan Calhanoglu
Minutes661641
Goals60
Assists31
Final Third Passes P9031.921.2
Big Chances Created53
Dribbles P901.10.6
League figures only, via FootballCritic

Yes, the Milan man can play on the wings if required, but Solskjaer prefers speed on the wings via the likes of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, and Daniel James.

United were, of course, also desperate to sign Jadon Sancho in the summer.

As well as a rotational option for Fernandes, it is likely that Calhanoglu will come in as a replacement for Juan Mata should the Spaniard decide to move on at the end of his contract.

Fernandes has featured for 661 Premier League minutes so far this season, a figure only bettered outfield by Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford.

Although the Portuguese is by no means being overplayed by Solskjaer, it won’t hurt to have a ready made attacking midfield replacement at the ready should he need a rest next season.

The stats above would suggest a significant dip in quality of Calhanoglu was ever to replace Fernandes, however.

The current Man Utd star has nine goal contributions to his name so far in the 2020/21 Premier League, while Calhanoglu has recorded just a single assist and no goals.