Inter Milan midfielder hakan Calhanoglu feels that teammate Kristjan Asllani is “like a little brother” to him.
The 29-year-old spoke to Italian broadcaster SportMediaset, via FCInterNews, after beating Red Bull Salzburg. He gave his reaction to the Champions League group stage victory, and also spoke about Asllani.
Calhanoglu and Asllani are the two main options who Inter have in holding midfield.
Turkish former AC Milan and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Calhanoglu is by now virtually a veteran of the game. He is captain of his national team, and has learned the position over the course of years.
21-year-old Asllani, on the other hand, is a player who Inter signed as a long-term option in the position.
The Nerazzurri brought the Albanian international in from Empoli last summer.
There is no doubt that Asllani can use his quality in the immediate term. He has made several appearances for Inter already this season, including off the bench against Salzburg yesterday.
But the sense is definitely that there could be more to come from Asllani, compared to a player like Calhanoglu who is very much showing his best in the here and now.
Hakan Calhanoglu On Kristjan Asllani: ‘Like A Little Brother’
At the moment, Asllani is more or less Calhanoglu’s backup in the squad.
When it was noted that he is still playing regularly, Calhanoglu said that “It’s not easy. But Asllani is growing.”
“He’s like my little brother,” he said of the 21-year-old. “He’s a good player.”
“He wants to play, but he needs patience.”
Calhanoglu made clear that “We’re a team, we have to stay united.”
“Everyone is a top player. I do my best for this shirt.”
And Calhanoglu also reacted to the win over Salzburg. “It was essential to win today,” the midfielder said. “We knew that.”
“Salzburg are a young, high-quality team that play with enthusiasm,” he went on.
“We were switched-on and focused, we deserved to win.”
“After Torino it wasn’t easy to immediately get our strength back, we did our. best In the end, the results are what’s important.”