Bodo/Glimt CEO Frode Thomassen has given some interesting background on how Jens Petter Hauge’s move to Milan came to fruition.
Hauge joined the Rossoneri just a few days after he impressed for the Norwegian side at San Siro in the third qualifying round of the Europa League.
Thomassen spoke to MilanNews about the 21-year-old’s rise to stardom, with the interview transcribed below.
With 21 goals and 13 assists since June, did you expect these numbers from Jens?
“Jens has been working hard for many years, but the last 12 months have been incredible. As a matter of fact, he has always had good numbers in terms of goals and assists, but this year many players have taken further steps (including the Jens himself), and the team also gave excellent results. To date we have scored 100 goals in the league alone, with an average of 3.5 goals per game.”
After the agreement found with Bodø, many said that Hauge was not ready for the Italian league but he is amazing everyone, so much so that he is now the centre of attention. How much do you think he can still grow?
“Hauge is a young player and obviously still has characteristics to improve. And he will do it especially together with the team.”
On Thursday, leaving for Prague, Jens was studying Italian on the plane so as not to waste any time. Was he always such a mature boy?
“My opinion is that Jens has all the qualities to be at the highest level, and he knows that language is a key to adapting to the club he is now a part of. Maybe 2-3 years ago he wasn’t like that, but he’s a player who he works on all the details, both as a player and as a person.”
When were the first contacts between you and Milan, and which teams did the Rossoneri management compete with to buy him?
“We have known for months of their interest, but the first contact with Milan took place the day after the Europa League match. There were many clubs, so it would take some time to mention them all…”
How did he react in September when you told him about the interest of Milan?
“Jens had a clear preference for Milan.”
Last question: Bodø won the championship this year, could Milan too?
“Milan looks like a strong team. For me they will remain at the top until the end and win the championship.”