Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Newcastle United’s Former Target Could Become A Free Agent: A Golden Opportunity For Bruce?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Calciomercato has reported that Newcastle United‘s former target Hakan Çalhanoğlu could become a free agent next summer when his contract at the San Siro comes to an end. It is understood that the Turkish playmaker has reassured his colleagues that he will continue his adventure with the Milan giants but will only pen a new deal if he gets a pay-rise which might be difficult for the Italian club amid the economic complications brought about by the COVID-19 crisis (via Calciomercato).

The Magpies were keeping tabs on the player last summer but never got close to recruiting him (via Chronicle Live). Hence, if Calhanoglu decides to leave as a free agent at the end of this campaign, it could open the door for the Tyneside outfit to secure his signature on a free transfer. However, it won’t be easy for them if they decide to rekindle their interest in him as they can expect to face competition from Juventus, Inter Milan, Leicester City and Arsenal in pursuit of his services.

Calhanoglu’s Amazing Form In Italian Football This Season

Calhanoglu has raised his stock over the past few weeks after putting in a string of match-winning performances as the chief playmaker of Stefano Pioli’s first-team. The Turkish midfield ace has netted four goals and provided four assists in nine matches for the Italian outfit across multiple competitions.

The 26-year-old has been a consistent performer at the San Siro so far as he is averaging 2.0 shots, 2.5 key passes, 1.8 crosses and 0.7 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Serie A this season. The Turkish international has linked up play well with his teammates in the offensive end of the pitch as evidenced by his pass success rate of 85.3% in the top tier of Italian football (stats via whoscored).

Newcastle's former target Çalhanoğlu could become a free agent (Hakan Calhanoglu is seen playing for Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the photo)
Hakan Calhanoglu of Leverkusen in action during the Bundesliga match between FC Schalke 04 and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Veltins-Arena on December 11, 2016 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)

What Does The Turkish Midfielder Offer On The Field?

Calhanoglu has a wide range of passes in his locker and can be an excellent ball-distributor in the final third. He is proficient at orchestrating some inviting goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates using his vision, creativity and perfect weight of pass.

The 50-time Turkish international is a potent goal-threat from long range as he can strike the ball with power and precision. However, he can sometimes be caught ball-watching when not in possession of the ball.

Calhanoglu Could Become A Free Agent Next Summer: A Golden Opportunity For The Magpies?

If Calhanoglu ends up running down his contract at the San Siro, then it will be a golden opportunity for the Magpies to seal a move for him on a free transfer next summer. Steve Bruce can afford to guarantee him regular playing time in the Premier League which could tip the scales in Newcastle’s favour in the race to land the Turkish playmaker at the end of this campaign.

Calhanoglu will be a significant upgrade over any of Bruce’s current options in the midfield department. Hence, the Tyneside giants should consider renewing their interest on the AC Milan star as he will enhance the quality of Newcastle’s first-team considerably and help them stay relevant at the top of English football in the coming seasons.

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