Legendary former AC Milan defender Alessandro Costacurta feels that in Europe only Rodri at Man City is a better holding midfielder than Hakan Calhanoglu.

Costacurta spoke to Milan-based newspaper Corriere della Sera in an interview published in today’s print edition, via FCInter1908.

When Hakan Calhanoglu arrived at Inter in 2021, the Turkish international wasn’t even a deep-lying midfielder.

Rather, Calhanoglu played more of a box-to-box role.

Having arrived at Milan in the summer of 2017 as an attacking midfielder or winger, Calhanoglu began to play more centrally over his four seasons at the Rossoneri.

And it was as a box-to-box midfielder in a midfield trio that the Turk initially played at Inter. That was the role the Nerazzurri signed him for.

But then Calhanoglu found a position in which he was able to thrive even more.

Since last season, the 30-year-old has been playing at the base of the midfield in a 3-5-2 shape.

And Calhanoglu has been, if not Inter’s single most important player this season, certainly in the top two or three.

Costacurta: “Only Rodri At Man City Better Than Calhanoglu In Europe”

The incredible form that Calhanoglu has displayed this season has led to the former Milan man being in contention for the best player in his position in Europe.

In the view of Costacurta, there is one player ahead of the Inter man.

And it is a name that will be grimly familiar to Inter from last season’s Champions League final.

“Calha has blossomed in the new environment,” Costacurta said.

“It makes me think of [Edgar] Davids, who struggled to express himself at Milanello,” he went on.

“And then at Juve he became world-class.”

“After Rodri, Calhanoglu is the best holding midfielder in Europe,” Costacurta argued.

The former Milan defender also said of Inter captain Lautaro Martinez that “I’m impressed by how he’s played the role of captain.”

“He’s grown, become more altruistic. He’s a total player now.”