Turkey coach Vincenzo Montella feels that Hakan Calhanoglu “showed talent” at AC Milan but has matured at Inter Milan.

The coach was full of praise for the Nerazzurri player in an interview published in today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews.

Montella has worked with Calhanoglu at two different periods in the midfielder’s career.

First, the Italian coach was in charge of AC Milan when Calhanoglu joined from Bayer Leverkusen in 2017.

At that point, Calhanoglu was playing primarily as an attacking midfielder.

Then, Montella became Turkey coach last year. When he took over, Calhanoglu was already captain of the national team and a key player.

But a lot has happened with Calhanoglu in the more than five years since he first played under Montella.

Most notably, of course, the Turk made the switch from Milan to Inter. He joined the Nerazzurri on a free transfer in the summer of 2021.

But beyond that, Calhanoglu has also made a major positional change while at Inter.

The 30-year-old has dropped deeper and deeper back in midfield. He now plays the holding midfield role in the Nerazzurri trio.

And this has been a position that has gotten the best out of Calhanoglu.

Montella: Calhanoglu “Showed Talent” At AC Milan, But “Matured” At Inter

Montella said of Calhanoglu that “In terms of his maturity and reading of situations, he’s a top player.”

“He’s one of the best players in the world in his position.”

Montella beamed that “It would be difficult to find an aspect in which he doesn’t excel.”

Meanwhile, the coach looked back on his first time coaching Calhanoglu.

“He had been coming back from several months off the pitch,” the coach noted. Calhanoglu had received a four-month suspension related to a breach of contract while at Leverkusen.”

“His talent was there to see,” the coach continued.

“But the maturity that he has now at Inter is the result of the work he’s done in the last few years,” Montella added.