Pioli: Calhanoglu a ‘technical and mental leader’ but ‘his team-mates must recognise this’

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has heaped praise upon midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, who he believes is ready to become a ‘top player’.

The Turkey international had a hand to play in all four of Milan’s goals against Lecce last Monday as he bagged two assists, plus it was his shot who was spilled for Giacomo Bonaventura to make it 2-1. You can see the highlights of his performance here.

He was also instrumental in Milan’s 2-0 win over Roma at San Siro on Sunday, scoring a penalty in the 89th minute to put the game beyond doubt after Theo Hernandez had been fouled.

Multiple reports from a variety of outlets suggest that Calhanoglu will continue to play an important role at the club especially if Ralf Rangnick were to arrive, as the German is a big admirer of the playmaker.

Pioli spoke to reporters about Calhanoglu in his pre-SPAL press conference on Tuesday, and his words were transcribed by MilanNews.

“Hakan is a great player, I am stimulating him to become an even more decisive player,” he said.

“He has everything to do well, he runs, he has quality, in my opinion the time has come for him to become a top player. For me he is a top player, he is both a technical and mental leader, but his team-mates must recognise this.”

Tags AC Milan Hakan Calhanoglu