AC Milan winger Jens Petter Hauge has insisted he feels like he made the right choice during the summer by snubbing other teams to join the Rossoneri.
The story of Hauge’s arrival is somewhat of a fairytale as he arrived at San Siro for a Europa League qualifier against Milan and by the end of the night we had reported exclusively about Milan’s interest in the Norwegian youngster. A move was completed in the coming days, and he has had an exciting start to life in Italy.
Now, Hauge has given a long interview to The Athletic about how his move to Milan came about and how he has settled during his first few months.
“We were talking with my agents, making a little plan. I wanted to go through to the next round. I wanted to win the match (against Milan),” Hauge said.
“But if we didn’t, it was about getting things done with the club and moving on because at that stage Bodo were 18 or 19 points clear in the league. I was really confident they were going to do it. So the timing was right and, personally, I was ready for it.
“It went fas. My mum was thinking it was a big step for me to move to Milan and to Italy, a new language and stuff like that. We have almost 50,000 people living here [in Bodo]. It’s kind of small, especially now when I live here so, of course, it’s a big change.”
Hauge went on to talk a bit about the players who inspired him when he was growing up as a young player.
“When I was young I started watching players who were good with both feet. It felt like a good quality to have. All my life I’ve been using both my left and right for shooting and passing so it all comes natural to me.
“Drogba, Lampard, Juan Mata. But when I grew up a little bit more, I started watching Eden Hazard. He’s my personal favourite.”
The report reveals that if Milan hadn’t rung his agent during the game in the Europa League third qualifying round, it might have been a different story.
The Red Bull sporting empire were tracking the young winger, as were Atalanta and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United. As soon as he travelled to Italy to complete the move, there was a Bundesliga club on the phone asking Milan if they could take him on loan.
“I’m really happy with my choice,” Hauge says, “I’m enjoying every day. Each one is a new chance for me to learn new things about the team, about the language, about the city.”
On learning Italian, he added: “In the beginning, it was just some keywords from football so we can understand each other and talk on the field. It’s been going well. When you hear the sounds and the words every day you start to learn them really fast. Sometimes Zlatan translates for me.”
Hauge also spoke about scoring his first Serie A goal for the club against Napoli at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, on the night Bodo/Glimt won the league for the first time in their 104-year history.
“It was a great night. I remember seeing things were going well for Bodo before our match so I was pretty sure they were going to win the league. Ending it with a goal and getting the three points in a really tough stadium was a good feeling.”
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