AC Milan winger Jens Hauge, who troubled Celtic in Europa League, available on loan

By Euan Davidson

June 30, 2021

Celtic fans will remember the name Jens-Petter Hauge of AC Milan.

After the Bhoys established an unlikely 2-0 lead over the Serie A giants in last year’s Europa League, the inevitable happened. The Rossoneri reestablished their dominance, winning 4-2 [BBC], and former Bodø/Glimt man Hauge was instrumental. With a goal and assist, Hauge tore down Celtic’s right-hand side with ease, and tucked away a tidy finish to put the game beyond us.

From that display, you’d have thought Hauge was a regular in the black and red. Not so much. Since April [VG], the Norwegian has been linked with a move away, either on loan, or permanently.

Either way, with Celtic likely to lose Mohamed Elyounoussi after his loan deal ended, it makes sense for Celtic to sniff out a potential deal here.

Hauge, despite his Europa League heroics, only played 519 minutes of Serie A football last season [Transfermarkt]. And while another loan from AC Milan didn’t quite work out in the end, Hauge is a very different player to Diego Laxalt. An out-and-out attacking threat, Hauge’s trade is in goals and assists. In the 2020 Eliteserien, Hauge provided a terrifying 24 goal contributions in just 18 outings for Bodø/Glimt [Transfemarkt].

Loans aren’t entirely popular, but AC Milan winger Hauge could be an excellent Elyounoussi replacement for Celtic

Granted, not everybody would be keen on another loan move. Ultimately, though, they’re useful for plugging gaps while planning for the long term. Where Celtic have misused them is in relying upon them to win the league, like last season.

The 20-21 campaign, though, shouldn’t put us off a whole transfer methodology. We need creativity and goals from the left-flank, and Hauge’s record, even in limited appearances, shows he’s more than capable. His antics against us in the San Siro provided plenty of evidence that he’s a dynamic, exciting wing talent.

Jens-Petter Hauge: could be available on loan / (Photo by Sportinfoto/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Obviously, we’d face competition. It’s unlikely the Bhoys could not afford to sign Hauge outright. What seems possible, though, is a loan spell to get Hauge playing regular football again at a very decent level. Yes, we’d be developing a player for someone else, but getting back to winning trophies and exciting the fans is the primary concern for this season, surely.

We’re going to miss Elyounoussi, and frankly, that doesn’t get discussed enough. His goal and assist contributions over two seasons were excellent, although he could occasionally go missing. Overall, it was a loan that worked out for both parties, and his immediate future is a story worth keeping an eye on.

We like Scandinavians here. If it were possible to replace one very productive Norwegian winger with another, albeit on a temporary basis, it’s something the club really should look at.

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