Former Inter Milan and Fiorentina midfielder Borja Valero believes that Hakan Calhanoglu is a candidate for the best midfielder in Serie A.
The Spaniard praised Calhanoglu whilst speaking on Italian broadcaster DAZN, via FCInterNews.
Last season, Calhanoglu found his feet in a new role at Inter.
Having initially played as more of a box-to-box midfielder, the Turk transitioned into a deep-lying playmaker role.
And this time around, he has started with more confidence than ever.
Whilst last season was one of transition for Calhanoglu, this one has seen him with a clear place in the team at the base of midfield.
The 29-year-old former AC Milan has no longer played on the left of midfield as he initially had.
Rather, Inter coach Simone Inzaghi has fully made Calhanoglu into the first-choice starter in holding midfield.
The departure of Marcelo Brozovic during the summer has made that even clearer.
And Calhanoglu has really thrived in this role.
A combination of passing ability and newfound defensive awareness has allowed Calhanoglu to dictate the tempo of matches for Inter, and the team have formed their entire style of play around the midfielder.
Borja Valero Praises Hakan Calhanoglu As One Of Serie A’s Best Midfielders
“I have to think about it, but if he’s not the best midfielder in the league he’s close to it,” Valero said of Calhanoglu.
“He started out a trequartista, and became a deep-lying playmaker,” he noted.
“In Bergamo he played like a trequartista when he played in Darmian to win the penalty.”
“But then he also puts in a great graft, a real battling quality,” Valero noted of Calhanoglu. “And that gets my attention even more.”
“It’s normal for a player of his quality to put in that ball [for Darmian],” Valero argued.
“But the difference is when he chases down an opponent deep into his own half.”