In a surprising and quick turn of events, Inter have completed the signing of Hakan Calhanoglu from rivals AC Milan on a free transfer. With the 27-year-old attacking midfielder’s contract with the Rossoneri had been set to expire at the of this month, the two clubs had yet to agree on a new deal before Inter approached the Turkish international. Talks moved swiftly and Calhanoglu arrived back in the city he has called home for four years to complete medicals before his announcement today.
With the unexpected and uncertain situation surrounding Christian Eriksen’s health as well as the expected offloading of midfield ghosts like Radja Nainggolan and Joao Mario, another option to get forward from the midfield and partner with Nicolo Barella and Marcelo Brozovic was much needed. Calhanoglu will earn a reported €5 million per year on a three-year deal with the Nerazzurri.
While he may not seem the most attractive option to Inter fans, Calhanoglu’s goal and assist numbers in his time at Milan have been respectable, with 32 goals and 48 assists coming in 172 appearances in all competitions since moving to Italy in the summer of 2017. The deal is also rather cost-effective for Inter, who are still dealing with a precarious budget situation.
Calhanoglu’s creativity and knowledge of the league will no doubt bring goals and assists to the Inter midfield under new coach Simone Inzaghi, who helped improve Luis Alberto immensely at Lazio. With the presence of new teammates Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez ahead of him as well as Brozovic and Barella partnering with him, the structure may be in place for a player like Calhanoglu to thrive.