Huseklepp played in Serie A. Here are four reasons why he thinks Hauge will succeed in Milan.


Jens Petter Hauge becomes part of an exclusive list when he goes directly from Norwegian football to one of the world’s best leagues.

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Jens Petter Hauge is sold from Bodø / Glimt to AC Milan. Photo: Annika Byrde

Jens Petter Hauge will probably be presented as a Milan player this week, at a price tag estimated at NOK 55 million. Thus, it will be one of the biggest transfers from a Norwegian club ever. Hauge has impressed a lot in the Elite Series and was recently selected for the A national team for the first time.

Erik Huseklepp announced his transfer to Bari in 2011 and played 14 matches in Serie A. He has good faith in the 20-year-old.

– Italy is a very special place to go to. They are very bad at English, so the language challenge comes. Milan is a big club, but at the same time a club that has had a slightly broken back. It is a very favorable transition, and I think he can play well on that team, says Huseklepp.

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Erik Huseklepp for Bari in 2011. Photo: Donato Fasano / AP

Bet on young players

The former Brann profile is convinced that Hauge can stand out directly. While players such as Erling Braut Haaland and Alexander Sørloth played in smaller leagues before they ended up in the Bundesliga, the northerner jumps directly from Norway to one of the world’s biggest football nations.

– We have often seen that it is better to take a small intermediate step. Milan goes a little beyond that. They are in a construction phase and have not been good for many years. The last time they won the league was in 2011, and that was the last time they had a team packed with stars. Now they have changed their philosophy and are betting on younger players.

Here are the reasons why Huseklepp believes in Jens Petter Hauge in Italian football:

  • He has an extreme x-factor.
  • He is very good at passing opponents, is agile and good with the ball.
  • In Italy, they (the opponents) are not fond of players who challenge very much. I noticed that well when I played there, they did not like people who dribbled and took a lot of initiative.
  • He is a slightly different type, of which there are not many in Italy.

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– Flop or success

– A completely new everyday life awaits. From being a star at home and in many ways being an undescribed magazine in another country. He has a lot to prove, and marking himself quickly is important, says Ole Martin Årst.

The striker himself went from Tromsø to Anderlecht in 1997 and played many years in Belgian football.

– I remember how important the first impression was. People are very keen to label you as a flop or a success. Hauge will probably feel that there is greater competition and must convince internally in the player group and the club. There is a more hierarchical structure in such clubs than in Norway.

Årst also points to the language barrier and the importance of learning Italian. He believes that Hauge does not leave his confidence in Aspmyra.

– He must dare to challenge, even if it becomes much more difficult. He must take new steps.

There are examples of Norwegian players who have gone abroad at a young age and struggled with playing time. Hauge’s former teammate is a recent example. Håkon Evjen was one of last year’s talkies in Norwegian football, but has barely got playing time in his new club AZ Alkmaar.

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Ole Martin Årst played several years abroad. He believes that Jens Petter Hauge must stand out early. Photo: Tor Erik Schrøder / NTB scanpix

Rare transition

– I think he will get a lot of opportunities considering how much money they have put into this. That is a clear signal. Both they and he have a fresh proof that he can succeed against the best. He ravaged Milan, says Årst.

The league leader has sold players for almost 100 million in the last year.

– They develop sportingly even if they sell players. I think that Glimt has built up such strong and robust sportsmanship that they will consolidate their position. It should be possible for other clubs to compete with Bodø / Glimt and learn lessons, Årst believes.

It is rare for Norwegian players to be sold from the Eliteserien directly to a major foreign club. Martin Ødegaard and John Carew are two examples from the last 20 years.

– It perhaps illustrates a bit the time we are in. In 97-98 when I also went, Norwegian players were attractive. It goes in periods. Now young Norwegian players are also very attractive on the market. It says something about the position of young Norwegian players, and it is far from coincidental, says Årst and continues:

– That Erling Braut Haaland and Martin Ødegaard have distinguished themselves so enormously has spread. We who have followed Norwegian football have known that a generation is coming up. Several clubs have done extremely well with development. But we need some profiles that break the road, because one thing is what we think here at home.

Huseklepp agrees.

– I think everything has a connection. Norwegian players are at such a high level that they (foreign clubs) have to rub their eyes. It makes them more attractive.



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