New signing Jens Petter Hauge has revealed he received some advice from Erling Haaland before he made the move to join AC Milan.
It has been a magical few weeks for the young winger, all told. We revealed last month that Milan started a serious pursuit of the winger after the 3-2 win over the Eliteserien side at San Siro in the Europa League, a game in which he scored and notched an assist.
Hauge is a Bodø native, a small town in the most northern parts of Norway with approximately 50,000 inhabitants and is not well known for its production of footballers, something his father told us in an exclusive interview, but the fairytale was completed when the 21-year-old made his way to Milan.
He was presented to the media along with new team-mate Diogo Dalot on Tuesday afternoon, with the questions and answers transcribed by MilanNews and translated below
What did you feel before returning to Norway, after experiencing the atmosphere of AC Milan and Milan?
“It was wonderful, because for me it was a great experience, in a stadium like that and against a team like Milan. It was the right choice to come back,” he said.
Norwegian journalists describe you as an ambitious footballer. Do you think this is a good way to describe yourself?
“Yes, and it is also one of the reasons why I decided to come here. There are so many great players here and I must definitely be at my best every day if I want to improve as a player.”
At the end of the match against Milan, the first to compliment you was Haaland on social media. Is Norwegian football growing as a collective?
“Yes. I think Norway has a lot of growing young players and they all definitely want to debut on the big stage and some are doing it. For me it is a good time to be a Norwegian player. I have learned a lot from my peers and also from those who are a few years older than me.”
Milan won the derby, are these city rivalries something stimulating for you?
“Of course. I played my last derby in Norway and seeing one here in Italy was a completely new thing. It was a great experience for me to see the fans in the stadium.”
What role do you have on the pitch?
“I can play in different positions, as a left winger in behind, in combination with the attacker, as a playmaker. I am a player who wants the ball, to be dangerous and who wants to have fun with the support of the fans.”
How did the negotiations for your transfer come about and had Milan already looked for you before the Europa League match?
“Yes, they had scouted in Europe and had their eyes on me. Then after the preliminaries they approached me. They know what I’m capable of.”
On the left there is competition from Rebic and Leao, does it scare you?
“The competition doesn’t scare me. Competition is positive, because I have to improve myself every day and in every training session. It motivates me and keeps me alive.”
What would you have replied if someone had told you before the match against Milan ‘in a week you will play for the Rossoneri’?
“Well, I can’t wait.”
How important do you think the match against Milan was for your career and if you can confirm that there were other Italian clubs on you?
“Yes. It was great for me to be able to demonstrate my level against a strong team. It was a chance to show off and show my qualities. Other Italian clubs have also looked at me, but now I’m here in Milan and I don’t want to talk about what could have been elsewhere.”
How did you feel when you signed for Milan? Did Haaland give you any advice?
“It was a great feeling to sign the contract and start working. Haaland is a friend of mine and I talked to him, he told me to have fun. He told me to work hard.”
Where can Milan go?
“With the quality of the players, we can reach high levels this season. I want to be part of an ambitious team and break new limits and raise the bar. We hope this is the beginning of many good years to come.”