Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim, formerly of AC Milan, the Turkish national team, and other sides, has given his thoughts about new Inter signing Hakan Calhanoglu.
In an interview published in yesterday’s Gazzetta dello Sport, reported by FCInter1908, the Turkish manager praises the 27-year-old midfielder’s abilities and character, and predicts that he will be a success and make Nerazzurri supporters happy.
Calhanoglu signs from Inter’s city rivals AC Milan, after having spent four years with the Rossoneri.
Before coming to Serie A, the Turk played in the Bundesliga with the likes of Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen, and also made a name for himself with the Turkish national side where Terim got to know the player as the first coach to bring him into the team.
The coach talked about his early experiences with the midfielder, stating the following:
“First of all, I am very happy! I love Hakan and I trust him. I have followed him since the days of [former club] Karlsruher and, when he played for Turkey for the first time in 2013, at the age of 19, I was on the bench. It was also an important moment for me, it was my second debut in the national team. I still look at him with great pride, and he is an example for Turkish children.”
“The nice thing about this transfer is that Hakan was able to choose his destiny – he wanted to help Inter stay at the top. And I’m not surprised that he moved from one team to another in Milan, after four years he is settled there. By now he knows the country and the league, and he knows how to compete with the best.”
Next, Terim was asked about how he experienced the situation of Inter midfielder Christian Eriksen’s health emergency during the Euros, and responded by saying the following:
“In front of the TV, anxious like the rest of the world. Today we play intensely, all year round, and we forget that footballers are human beings. There is something much more important than football, and it is health. In 2019-20 with Galatasaray we came from eight victories in a row, but I was the first in Turkey to say that football had to stop.”
“Maybe we lost a title, but nothing matters more than human life. This truth has become even more evident. Despite Eriksen’s unfortunate accident, I am very happy for his recovery and I hope he can start playing football again as soon as possible.”
Terim spoke about the similarities between Calhanoglu and Eriksen:
“In some ways they resemble each other. Following the beginnings of their careers, they have developed into more complete players, they have adapted to new styles of play. During his years at Ajax, Eriksen was a classic number ten, but over time has shown that he can play almost on the attacking line or as a midfielder, he is able to stay in the game longer.”
“Hakan, like Christian, has also undergone a major transformation in Italy, and has improved a lot tactically. He’s a great replacement for Eriksen, this is a good marriage for both sides.”
Lastly, the former Rossoneri spoke about how he thought Calhanoglu would be received by fans in the derby:
“I guess the Milan fans are upset, but we will see more and more transfers like this in the future. And the Inter fans will love him, because he can do so many things, he is truly a complete, total player.”