The performances of Hakan Calhanoglu at the start of the season have left little doubt he can replace Marcelo Brozovic at Inter Milan.

This is the view in today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews.

At the start of last season, Marcelo Brozovic had seemed virtually like Inter’s most essential player.

Few would have guessed that the Croat would have left during this summer transfer window.

And, with Brozovic gone, it would have seemed as though the Nerazzurri would have been left struggling to cope.

However, last season didn’t go according to plan in Inter’s midfield. Two long-term muscle injuries to Brozovic meant that coach Simone Inzaghi had to find other solutions.

And in September, the solution that the coach went with was to put Calhanoglu at the base of midfield.

If that had only seemed like an emergency solution at first, it quickly started to appear more than that.

For the majority of last season, Calhanoglu was the first-choice option in the regista role. Even when Brozovic was fit, the sense was that his place in the team was under threat.

Hakan Calhanoglu Continues To Show He Can Replace Marcelo Brozovic At Inter Milan

Even with Calhanoglu’s positive performances last season, there were naturally still doubts about his ability to play at the base of midfield in the long term.

The Nerazzurri sold Brozovic this summer without signing a like-for-like replacement for Brozovic.

The sign was clear – Calhanoglu is the player who will inherit the 30-year-old’s role this season.

As such, the first couple of matches were always likely to be a big test for the Turkish international.

And, thinking this way, Calhanoglu has passed with flying colours.

Calhanoglu has looked like one of Inter’s most consistent performers against Monza and Cagliari.

Against the Rossoblu, Calhanoglu took 124 touches of the ball – the most of any Inter player.

And if this was not already a clear indication of the 29-year-old’s central influence, he completed 102 passes – at a success rate of 99%.

Meanwhile, Calhanoglu played eleven forward passes. This is a clear indication of the former AC Milan and Bayer Leverkusen’s direct style of play.

Calhanoglu, more than Brozovic, wants to get the ball forward and combine with teammates quickly and immediately, rather than consolidating possession. This makes him an ideal fit to Inzaghi’s system.

Meanwhile, Calhanoglu has always answered questions about his suitability to screen the backline defensively.

The Turk’s recovering tackle on Nahitan Nanedez against Cagliari certainly showed that. It was not the first big defensive intervention he has made already this season.

Inzaghi will be happy to see that, early on, Calhanoglu looks like a player who has been playing his current position far longer than he actually has.