Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu admits “the first few months were very hard for me”, but Gennaro Gattuso turned him around.

The Turkish international joined the Rossoneri from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer, but he struggled at the beginning of his Serie A career.

“Yes, it’s true,” Calhanoglu confirmed, speaking to Milan TV.

“The first few months were very hard for me, because Italian is difficult. I needed time to learn to speak it and talk with my teammates, and also to understand the lifestyle.

“When Gattuso arrived things became a bit easier for me because he also speaks English, so it became easier to communicate with him and his staff who speak English, but I also learned your culture and habits.

“I like Italy, I like my teammates and I feel very good in this team. Rino changed me a lot, now I’m more sure of myself and I can communicate better with my teammates.

“I can play my football more easily and do what Gattuso asks me. That’s why you can clearly see I’ve improved, before I lost too many balls and didn’t fight to recover them because my condition wasn’t great.

“Now I’m fine, I feel strong and I trust myself.”

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Football Italia staff