Hakan Calhanoglu revealed Milan ‘work a lot better’ under coach Stefano Pioli and praised Zlatan Ibrahimovic for his ‘mentality and quality’.
Milan continued their impressive run under Pioli, as Zlatan scored both goals in the 2-0 win against Bologna on Monday, helping the Rossoneri to a great start in Serie A 2020-21.
Calhanoglu stressed the team have thrived under the current coach and is happy Pioli gave him the ‘possibility to play in his preferred position’.
“Stefano Pioli has given us a lot tactically,” Calhanoglu told DAZN. “Nothing against Marco Giampaolo, but in some ways his system didn’t come through.
“With Pioli, we are working a lot better. And Ibrahimovic’s return, with his mentality and his quality on the pitch, helps the squad continue to grow.
“For me personally, it was important to finally play regularly in my preferred position. The coach gave me this possibility.”
Ibrahimovic delivered the goods in the first League match and Calhanoglu said the soon-to-be 39-year-old has an ‘unconditional desire to win’.
“Zlatan has so many ideas that he wants to achieve with us on the pitch. All his experience helps us and, above all, his unconditional desire to win.
“It all starts in training. Zlatan wants to win every small competition, he’s very ambitious and very angry when he loses.
“Zlatan knew me and my qualities before he returned to Milan. He always wants me to play without thinking too much and always asks me to be 100 per cent concentrated.”
Calhanoglu hopes to reach the Champions League with the Dialovo and said they want to build on the great history of Milan.
“We want to build the future on the traditions, around Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini. Our goal is to reach the Champions League.
“We have welcomed [Sandro] Tonali, Zlatan has renewed, we want to achieve something. In any case, my hopes are high.”