Hakan Çalhanoğlu has established himself as one of Europe’s top deep-lying playmakers this season and has been paramount in Inter’s success in Serie A, scoring nine goals and registering three assists.

The Turkey captain has been sidelined since late February after suffering a muscle strain in training. For the time being, young midfielder Kristjan Asllani has taken over Hakan’s spot between Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Nicolò Barella and has done exceptionally well, scoring his first goal for the club in a 2-1 win over Genoa.

On March 7, Hakan Çalhanoğlu returned to full group training with Inter’s UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg clash against Atlético Madrid next week in mind. According to Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport, Simone Inzaghi is studying how to best prepare Inter’s number 20 ahead of this important Champions League match.

The newspaper outlines that it is rare for Inzaghi to immediately throw a player returning from injury back into the starting lineup- especially ahead of such an important match just days later. This could aggravate the injury, as we have seen with Davide Frattesi this season. Kristjan Asllani has given top performances in the absence of Çalhanoğlu and for this season, the young Albanian international could get the start against Bologna and Hakan could return to action in the second half to get some minutes and match fitness ahead of getting the start against Atlético Madrid in Spain.

Gazzetta understands that no decision will be made just yet, and whatever Hakan Çalhanoğlu himself feels is best, will happen. This will likely come the morning before the match against Bologna on Saturday, March 9.