Pellegatti explains Hauge’s Europa League exclusion: “The last few games had not been brilliant”

By Akhil Prasad -

As Milan officially handed out their 22-man squad to UEFA for the upcoming Round of 32 tie in the Europa League, many eyebrows were raised due to the exclusion of Norwegian wonderkid Jens Petter Hauge.

Among those was Italian pundit and journalist Carlo Pellegatti, who is well-known for his to-the-point, unbiased perspectives on the Rossoneri. He may even be scouting tournaments like the Copa América later this year for potential future signings.

Having been a Milan fan for about 64 years now, one can only imagine the amount of knowledge and passion the former commentator has for his beloved Rossoneri. Upon the release of the squad news, the lifelong Milan fan was outright in his views.

“There was a choice between him [Hauge] and Meite, sorry to Hauge that it was his spot taken, but the last few games had not been brilliant. The player is a little more conditioned by Pioli’s instructions and technical directions,” said Pellegatti (via MN24).

Hauge primarily operates as an inverted left winger, who adores cutting in to either dribble past opponents or slide a pass through the 18-yard-box. Citing Pioli’s decision to play him in a compact manner, he said: “He doesn’t play as free as he once did and therefore struggled a bit (in his last few appearances). I’m a little sorry the others were chosen.”

Hauge has been Rossoneri’s stand-out player upfront in the Europa League this season, registering six goals and three assists in eight appearances across the qualifying and group stages. His display against Sparta Praha in the final group match was instrumental in Milan qualifying for the next round and his performance against Celtic over two legs was remarkable to say the least as he scored two and assisted one against them.

Stefano Pioli was left with the choice of excluding one of three Milan players, between Soualiho Meite, Rade Krunic and Jens Petter Hauge. Due to the fact Mateo Mussachio, Andrea Conti and Leo Duarte left Milan, the club have one less spot in the List A due to their respective exits.

That cut down the squad strength from 23 to 22, leading to the Norwegian’s sacrifice. List B, however, is filled with Milan Primavera talents in Daniel Maldini, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Matteo Gabbia.

“Milan having Leao, Rebic, Mandzukic, and Daniel Maldini already who can play on the wing means Milan decided not to leave the midfield without Meite, signed with the intention of being a fourth midfielder, and Krunic as a man for all the roles.”

Carlo Pellegatti’s understanding of the situation is certainly one to take under consideration, but it remains to be seen if Pioli will regret his decision to exclude the club’s top scorer this season in the UEFA Europa League.

Tags AC Milan Jens Petter Hauge

8 Comments

  1. Idris says:

    Pioli is not giving him playing over looking him even during crisis covid,injuries and suspension, this can play as an attacking mified whn calhanglu was not around he opt for maite in playmaker role, we lost woefully without a single shot on target.

  2. Milanisti indonesia says:

    Hauge might not been briliant in past few games, but krunic is trash all the time.. How hauge will play briliantly if other players dont give him ball

  3. Micah97 says:

    This was a mistake….and I hope someone gets injured and Hauge is brought in… he’s a natural finisher who Pioli could’ve deployed behind Leao or Ibra…how can you overlook a guy with 4 gold and 3 AST for Meite and Krunic…. Meite is overrated and should have been left out.I hope this means Hauge gets more game time in Serie A over Mandzukic…..we got this far with our young players….They risk falling back into the old mistakes by overlooking talented you g players for washed up guys like Krunic,Meite and Mario who are are over 25..and want a free ride to the UCL ..PIOLI must stay with the young players.

  4. Dommicheal says:

    To me this is a very big mistake on pioli because the guys is the best in Europa league for Milan ,my question is how can you sacrifice your best??time will tell

  5. fx hndri says:

    it is right that hauge played under rated in the past few games, the question is ….even he was in the good position, he did not get the ball from other player.

    this season milan is the most attractive team with some player like hauge. pioli must not forgetting the new milan’s philosophy with the young player…..

    1. milanfanfromchina says:

      Second to your last sentence!

      The sad reality seems that Pioli is now forgetting the new Milan philosophy with young players and revert back to his old defensive mentality and old wood like Mandzukic while killing off Hauge by his tactics, which may just backfire him and the team’s results.

  6. JOHN THE BAPTIST says:

    Well, going by statistics and form in the Europa League it would have been logical for Pioli to definitely select Hauge.

    But, unfortunately, football goes far beyond logic. The TACTICAL angle should always be the forte of any good football manager. The left wing can be effectively covered by Leao, Rebic even Mandzukic. The only solid midfielders we have at the moment are Kessie and Benn. We all know Tonali hasn’t lived up to the billing, well Krunic is a disaster. Hell, even Calabria would make a decent backup, but going into the tougher stages of the tournament, we have to consider Calabria as a RB. With only Kessie and Benn to look up to, and considering Benn just returned from a long injury, I rather more tactful to have Miete in his more natural position in case we experience disappointment from Tonali and Krunic.

    Well, just my reasoning.

  7. milanfanfromchina says:

    Citing Pioli’s decision to play him in a compact manner, he said: “He doesn’t play as free as he once did and therefore struggled a bit (in his last few appearances).

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