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AC Milan adds attacker Hakan Çalhanoglu for €20 million

The Rossoneri get one of the world’s best free-kick specialists.

AS Monaco FC v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - UEFA Champions League Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

After a long negotiation process, AC Milan finally got new ownership this spring, and those owners have been very aggressive in the transfer market. On Monday, the Rossoneri added attacking midfielder Hakan Çalhanoglu, their fifth first-team signing of the summer. He’ll reportedly cost €20 million, plus another €4 million in potential add-ons.

Çalhanoglu spent the second half of last season suspended for a breach of transfer rules from several years earlier. While at Karlsruher, Çalhanoglu agreed to sign for Turkish club Trabzonspor and accepted a signing bonus. Çalhanoglu then changed his mind and extended his contract before moving to Hamburg two years later. The issue wasn’t worked out until six years later, when Çalhanoglu was handed a four-month ban by FIFA.

Before his suspension, Çalhanoglu was having one of the best individual seasons of his career, even if his club Bayer Leverkusen was struggling. He posted seven goals and seven assists between Bundesliga and Champions League play. Over his entire senior career, the 23-year-old attacker has 56 goals and 51 assists in 208 matches.

The thing Çalhanoglu is most widely known for is his set-piece delivery. He’s arguably the best direct free-kick taker on the planet. Enjoy.

Besides set pieces, Çalhanoglu is valuable for his versatility. He’s best as a No. 10 playing behind a balanced striker, but he’s played out on the wing as well, and even a handful of times as a false nine.

No matter where Vincenzo Montella needs an attacker to play, Çalhanoglu should be able to fill the role. And because of his set-piece delivery, he’s always useful even when he’s not at his absolute best.

It might take Çalhanoglu some time to get back to his best after his suspension, but if he returns to his old level, this will be a coup for Milan. Plus, with four months off, he probably spent a lot of time on the training pitch practicing free kicks.