As predictable, several Serie A contributors made the EFL Team of the Month in July, as the Italian League finished late and had more rounds than the other ones across the continent. There are some expected names such as Sassuolo’s stars Francesco Caputo (31 points) and Domenico Berardi (24 points), who have been lights out in last 30 days, and some odd ones, like Inter’s Danilo D’Ambrosio (29 points), who benefitted from few clean sheets on top of scoring, and Atalanta’s Mario Pasalic (24 points), who amassed almost his rntire haul thanks to a hat-trick.
However, Milan were the best team in the Peninsula over the last six or seven rounds and that permitted two of their linchpins to rack in bonuses: Zlatan Ibrahimovic accrued 32, two more for Hakan Calhanoglu, who then takes home the coveted award of most productive fantasy player in July. Only Raheem Sterling (42 points), Michail Antonio (34) and Ederson (35) bested him as far as all nations are concerned.
The Rossoneri are currently riding an 11-game undefeated streak that started in late June, secured the sixth place and thus a Europa League berth and saved Stefano Pioli’s job, as Ralf Rangnick was heavily rumoured to be taking over at the end of the season. The highlight was a comeback from down to goal to the final 4-2 versus Juventus and the Devil also easily disposed of Roma and Lazio and shared the spoils with Napoli and Atalanta.
Calhanoglu and Ibrahimovic were the main protagonists of the surge and they took advantage of some drubbings, versus Lecce, Parma, Bologna and Sampdoria, to further pad their stats. The Turkish attacker has notched five goals and six assists in such stretch, which puts him close to a double-double for the season, as he has registered nine in both categories, with one, fairly easy, game to go. Few of the helpers set up the Swedish ace, who hit the net six times in July.
Calhanoglu is no stranger to bagging beautiful goals as he is well-known for his shooting prowess. It was no different in the recent hot stretch, as he put past the goalie a gorgeous strike in the Lazio match, slightly nudged by a deflection, and he rifled home impressive daisy-cutters against Parma and Bologna. But the best one wsas a rainbow free kick in the Atalanta clash, which he put in the top corner from deep down the left flank.
The Turkish international, after slumping in the first half of the season, was one of the main beneficiaries of a slight tactical change by Pioli, which put him back in his most natural position as no.10 after some time either on the left wing or as box-to-box midfield, and that allowed him to recapture his best form. Suso leaving in January made him the main fulcrum of the offense, then the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the explosion of Ante Rebic lifted the whole team. He is now currently negotiating a well-deserved new contract with the club, as his current one expires in 2021 and his status was tenuous given his previous performances: he had scored just three times from August to February, with several lackadaisical performances.
Calhanoglu is currently the fourth-placed midfielder in the League with 68 points, three fewer than Luis Alberto, while Joao Pedro (88), Josip Ilicic (85), who really played as strikers, and the king of assists Alejandro Gomez (80) are uncatchable. Still, surely a remarkable turnaround and he has finally displayed in Italy the skills that made him shine in Bundesliga, as this has been hands-down his best season with Milan-
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