Jens Petter Hauge is happy to have chosen Milan but is ready to talk to the club about what the future holds.
Hauge joined Milan from Bodø/Glimt in the summer after impressing massively against them in the Europa League qualifying matches, but he did not have the breakout season he’d hoped to have.
The young Norwegian finished the season with 2 goals in 18 appearances, without featuring in any of the last 9 games of the campaign. In addition, he was excluded from the Europa League squad of Milan after the January mercato, getting left out in favor of Mario Mandžukić.
It now remains to be seen what will happen to Hauge. There are reports that Milan could use him as a bargaining chip in negotiations to bring Rodrigo De Paul from Udinese. In any case, the 22-year-old was interviewed on TV2, a Norwegian channel, and he spoke about his future:
“First and foremost, I will recover now and prepare for the get-together with national team here. Then I will probably take a short vacation before starting the talks with Milan. It’s a dialogue that must at least be set up.
“What do I wish? I’m prepared to go back there and fight for a place. But if they want things differently, then I have to decide on it. First of all, I want to be part of the team and contribute, not just in training.
“It has been an incredibly long year where a lot has happened. There’s been a lot of adrenaline and stuff. When you then get some time to think about big the step I actually took was, I am ultimately incredibly happy with the year and the choice I have made.
“It has been a completely new everyday life for me to train and play with some of the biggest profiles in the world. Milan is an insanely big club, it is a city that thrives on football and where football means almost everything. It has been incredibly educational. Then it may be easy to remember how things ended this year, but feel I have shown myself to a whole new level and have demonstrated my qualities.
“Ibrahimović? He’s an incredible player. He sets standards that I didn’t even think were possible. There’s quality in everything he does and helps the rest of the team a lot.”
Hauge was close to being cut from the Norway squad, as coach Ståle Solbakken admitted that “he did not show his best side at the last gathering. There is no point in hiding it. He was disappointing. He knows that and everyone else who was there knows that.” Jens Petter responded to the words of Solbakken: “I’m from Northern Norway. We are used to calling a spade a spade.”
However, things are now looking more positive for Hauge after two training sessions with the Norway team. “Jens Petter has already shown much more than he did at the previous get-together. He looks lighter in the body,” said Solbakken.
Hauge is not new to overcoming struggles. In 2018, when he was at Aalesunds on loan from Bodø/Glimt, he was also benched and even played some games in 4th division: “When I was on the bench at Ålesund, it was also a new step without having my friends nearby. It was a bunch I didn’t know very well. The fact that I have been through such things, I think makes it easier for me now.
“I am very happy that I have not just hovered on a cloud in recent years. It lets me know that if I do things right, the upswing will come again. As long as I’m mentally ready to take that job, I’m sure that I will take the chance when I about it.
“The Norway national team? Of course you should have big ambitions for the team here.”