AAt first glance, Jens Petter Hauge does not resemble a rock star. The Norwegian seems rather reserved and calm when he’s not playing football. But if you believe his teammates, he definitely has talent for the show stage. At the start of Eintracht Frankfurt’s training camp in Windischgarsten, Hauge and the other new players had to make up for their debut from last year.
And as is the case with football clubs, whether in the district class or in the Bundesliga: the new ones have to sing. Hauge especially surprised his teammates by singing in German. “He rocked it,” said midfielder Djibril Sow, and there was genuine appreciation in that statement.
Hasty bad passes
The team evening was certainly a welcome distraction for the 22-year-old Hauge. It was wished that he would also find some distraction on his vacation, which he spent in his hometown Bodö after the Europa League triumph and the assignment with the Norwegian national team in the Nations League. Got a clear head, as athletes say. Because Hauge has had to take a lot of criticism in recent months. Especially because of his sometimes erratic game and hasty bad passes.
In the training camp in Austria, too, the question accompanies him as to whether he is actually worth the high transfer fee. Eintracht initially loaned the Norwegian from AC Milan in 2021 and made a permanent commitment from May to summer 2026. For a transfer fee of allegedly around seven million euros. So far, he has mostly played as a substitute. What stood out was his 2-1 win at Olympiakos Piraeus in the second round of the Europa League. But that was not the hoped-for liberation.
The competition is big
Even in the test match against Linzer ASK, Hauge was not yet convincing. Eintracht sports director Markus Krösche advocated not overestimating that. It was a friendly, after all, and Hauge played in a different position than usual. This is exactly what a test game is for, to try things out.
In view of newcomers like Mario Götze, Lucas Alario or Randal Kolo Muani, it is no surprise that the competition on the offensive has become tougher. Hauge now has to assert himself against such players. And Eintracht will need all their strength next season if they want to keep up in all three competitions – the Bundesliga, the DFB Cup and the Champions League.
Forced break in winter
“If you play every three days, you need mental freshness,” said Krösche. “Especially on the offensive, our goal is to be very variable so that we can rotate again and again and have fresh guys who are able to find solutions.”
Jens Petter Hauge should also provide such solutions. He initially missed out on preparing for last season because he joined the team late due to his move. So he didn’t have time to get used to the mechanisms in the team structure. A muscle injury last winter forced him to take a longer break.
“He wants to prove it to everyone”
It is particularly important for young players like him to get into the right rhythm. “That’s why it’s important for him that he comes in now and takes part in the entire preparation,” said Krösche. The sports director believes that Hauge is putting a lot of pressure on himself. “He wants to prove it to everyone. Some players then block.” Everyone involved wants to solve this blockage together, says Krösche.
With trust, calm, relaxation and security. “He’s a young guy. But we trust him completely, we believe in him and we are happy that he is here. We’ll give him the ease and calm to get back to his strengths. Then we will have a lot of fun with him.”
The team worked on fun and relaxation away from the training ground on Wednesday morning. But the usual work equipment was not missing. The whole team, coaches and supervisors played football golf near the team hotel in Windischgarsten.
Divided into small groups, they moved across the field and sank the balls – sometimes with more, sometimes with fewer shots. To be fair, the holes had a larger diameter than in the classic game of golf. And the accuracy was also worked on.
At a shooting range, the footballers tried their hand at biathlon, aiming at ledges a few meters away. Not all of the discs that indicate a hit went up straight away. But the trip to another sport created a good atmosphere in the team, which was actually the declared goal of the morning.