Jens Petter Hauge on the scoresheet for AC Milan
JO CHRISTIAN WELDINGH
Jens Petter Hauge scored his first ever goal for AC Milan in their Europa League fixture against Glasgow Celtic. Hauge got to play the last 10 minutes and scored AC Milan’s third goal, securing a 3-1 victory. This was Hauge’s second game in the AC Milan shirt after the $5 million transfer in early October from Eliteserien’s top team, Bodø/Glimt.
“I’m overjoyed—especially when my team wins and I get to score a goal,” he told Norwegian TV2 when asked about both his current situation in Milan and the game.
Hauge’s last few months have been like something out of a Hollywood movie. The 21-year-old started the delayed season in Eliteserien as a relatively unknown midfielder, but soon he found himself to be the best and most important player in a Bodø/Glimt side that has dominated the Norwegian league completely. The team from Bodø lost 4-2 to Molde on Oct. 17, but with Hauge in the starting lineup, the team went on a record-breaking streak of 20 games unbeaten in the league. Hauge, Kasper Junker, and Philip Zinckernagel each had 14 goals, with Hauge adding 10 assists and Zinckernagel 14 serves.
Glimt took their great form into the Europa league qualifications, beating FC Žalgiris from Lithuania 3-1 in the first knockout round. When they went up against AC Milan in their home grounds, the mighty San Siro, in the second round, they weren’t expected to put up much of a fight, but even though Milan won the game 3-2, the two teams seemed to be evenly matched.
Hauge scored against AC Milan and was among the best players on the pitch when the two teams met in September. The Italians were so impressed they bought him only a few days later. Rumor has it that AC Milan’s sporting director sent a text to Bodø/Glimt’s chair mid-game that read, “Let’s talk.”
October was Hauge’s biggest month yet. Not only did he get his debut and his first goal for AC Milan, he also got his debut for the Norwegian national team when he got subbed on when Norway beat Romania 4-0.
AC Milan is one of the most merited soccer clubs in Europe, but they have been struggling in the Italian Serie A the last few seasons. The club has not been in the Champions League since 2013/14. This season, however, has begun in nearly the best way possible with four wins and one draw in the first five games. Some claim that the arrival of 39-year-old Swedish soccer legend and former LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimović has inspired the squad to reach a new level. Ibrahimović is the leading goal scorer in the league with six goals in five games.
Hauge is the newest addition to what seems to be an endless stream of young Norwegian soccer talents. It’s been a long time since Norway had so many young, talented players in the biggest European leagues, the most notable being Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund), Martin Ødegaard (Real Madrid), Sander Berge (Sheffield United) and Kristoffer Ajer (Glasgow Celtic).
Hauge had a scare when he tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 26. He received a negative test on Oct. 31 and was symptom free, so he was allowed to return to play.
Jo Christian Weldingh grew up in Lillehammer, Norway, and lives in Oslo. He has a bachelor’s degree in archaeology from the University of Oslo and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from BI Norwegian Business School.
This article originally appeared in the Nov. 13, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.