Hakan Calhanoglu admits he had difficulties settling in at Milan, but claims “this will be my season” and asks to play as trequartista.
“If there’s hard work to be done, I am first in line,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I am starting a new season with a new Coach and a new tactical system, so there is also new enthusiasm. I don’t know how it’ll pan out, but I do know this is a strong group of players with a lot of quality.
“I do want to do more and I’d also like to explain a few things. My style of football had to change completely when I came to Italy. You run much more than in Germany and there’s a greater focus on defending, even for attack-minded players like me.
“It’s not easy to adapt, but I am getting used to it and I even find pleasure in helping out the defence now. I always tried to play for the team, that is my nature, but I am well aware that I can do much better.
“This can be my season. I feel like a Milan player and never had doubts that I’d stay, because I am happy here. I made that very clear to my agent.”
Gennaro Gattuso defended Calhanoglu against critics, but Marco Giampaolo’s 4-3-1-2 formation is probably more suited to the Turkey international.
“Tactically, it’s a different situation to what it was before. The Coach focuses on aggressive, beautiful football and when we lose possession, we immediately fight to get it back. He has an interesting approach to the sport.
“With the 4-3-1-2, there are more options, more ways of approaching the goal, because there are more players in the final third. I’ll play wherever Giampaolo asks me to, but obviously the idea of playing as a trequartista is fascinating.
“I feel that I am a Number 10 and I discussed that directly with the Coach. It could also be interesting to play just in front of the defence.”
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