The Turkish midfielder has been strongly linked with the Red Devils.
AC Milan’s creative midfielder, Hakan Calhanoglu is out of contract at the end of the current season. Reports coming out of Italy have suggested that the player has a “pre-agreement” signed with Manchester United.
The Turkish international has his heart set for a move to the Premier League, due to which talks of a contract renewal have not advanced with the Serie A outfit.
Manchester United have come out as favorites to land the player, and the move is imminent in the near future. Following are five reasons that suggest Hakan Calhanoglu will be a great signing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men when it goes through:
5. Can play multiple roles
Hakan Calhanoglu is a versatile player. The midfielder can play in a deeper role and manipulate the build-up or he can also play in an advanced role behind the strikers. This solves a lot of problems for Solskjaer, who can use Calhanoglu in various situations.
This sort of versatility is yet to be seen from Donny Van De Beek, who is still finding his feet since his move from AFC Ajax. If recruited, Calhanoglu’s ability in set-piece situations, long-range shooting, passing accuracy and more will improve the midfield options at the club.
4. Provides depth to contest multiple competitions
Every great team that aspires to win trophies has at least two world class players for every position. Point in case is Manchester City, who have invested heavily and always have firepower waiting to come on from the bench. Their domestic dominance on all fronts can be attributed to their incredible depth in the squad.
Manchester United contest various competitions, including European tournaments, and in order to mount a strong challenge, Ole needs the liberty of rotating the squad. Calhanoglu is a strong option to start in cup competitions. He will also provide competition for the starters in the league as well. A win-win situation.
3. Possible Paul Pogba replacement
Paul Pogba’s future at Manchester United is still unclear. The Frenchman is out of contract in June 2022 after the club triggered a one-year extension clause. Juventus FC are among other suitors who want to recruit the 2018 World Cup winner, who is yet to sign a contract extension with the Red Devils.
In a scenario where a club is able to cough up the huge transfer fees and finance a deal for Pogba, Calhanoglu’s arrival will make further sense. He can play the role of a deep lying midfielder and play as an advancing part of a double pivot in a 4-2-3-1 system.
2. An improvement on current outcasts
Manchester United have two players away on loan namely Andreas Pereira to Lazio and Jesse Lingard to West Ham United. While Lazio have decided against permanently signing Pereira, Lingard’s impressive performances have convinced the Hammers into signing him permanently.
If Lingard’s asking price of £20+ million is met by the London-based outfit, then United will need a replacement. Hakan Calhanoglu is a definite improvement on these two players with all due respect to them. He has been indispensable for AC Milan lately, contributing with six goals and 11 assists in 30 appearances across all competitions.
1. Perfect cover for Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes has elevated himself as one of the best players in the world since his arrival last year. He is central to the Red Devils and influences most of their attacking gameplay. The Portuguese has immense longevity, starting almost every game across all competitions for the 13-time Premier League champions.
However, Hakan Calhanoglu’s arrival would certainly allow Solskjaer to rest Fernandes, keeping him free of fatigue and injuries. Moreover, it will alleviate the large chunk of responsibility from Fernandes to create chances for the forwards.