Hakan Calhanoglu: Would he fit in at Manchester United?

Emmet Gates
Emmet Gates
  • Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST
  • 3 min read
Hakan Calhanoglu: Would he fit in at Manchester United?

According to recent reports, Milan’s attacking midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu is ‘90%’ certain to be joining Premier League outfit Manchester United next summer.

German outlet Bild state that Calhanoglu has rejected an improved offer from Milan to renew his contract at San Siro, and is intent on joining Man Utd as a free agent.

This begs the question, where exactly would the Turkey international fit in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side next season?


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    Where would Calhanoglu play?

    Calhanoglu’s form for Milan has improved exponentially over the last 12 months. Signed in the summer of 2017 from Bayer Leverksusen, Calhanoglu blew hot and cold for much of his first three seasons at San Siro, and it was more of the latter than the former.

    However since the arrival of Stefano Pioli as coach last December, Calhanoglu has been moved further up field. This, and the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has given the Turk a fresh impetus, resulting in some fantastic displays.

    However, at Man Utd Bruno Fernandes currently occupies the position in behind the central striker. The attacking midfielder has been a revelation at Old Trafford since joining almost a year ago.

    To get the best out of Calhanoglu, Fernandes would in theory need to step aside for the new signing. But is that really going to happen?

    Calhanoglu could also play as a deep-lying playmaker due to his excellent passing ability, but would he really want to play there? It remains to be seen.

    A move further back down the pitch would in essence also spell the end of Paul Pogba’s time at the club. The Frenchman has been repeatedly linked with moves to Real Madrid and Juventus for years. And Calhanoglu could be a replacement for Pogba, should he engineer a second move away from Manchester.

    Given his form for Milan playing in behind Ibrahimovic, it would feel like a waste playing Calhanoglu much further back. A move to either flank wouldn’t prove to be successful either, due to Calhanoglu’s lack of pace. Perhaps Solskjaer intends to alternate between Fernandes and Calhanoglu? Only time will tell if the deal goes through.