Bodø/Glimt continue to dominate the 2020 Eliteserien with their high-intensity play winning many admirers and plenty of their players attracting foreign interest. One such player is 20-year-old Norwegian Jens Petter Hauge, and this scout report will aim to show what it is that makes him such an exciting talent using a combination of statistics and tactical analysis.
Role in the team
Bodø/Glimt have largely used a 4-3-3 formation under Kjetil Knutsen which can often resemble a 2-3-2-3 in attack. Hauge operates as an inside forward on the left of the front three, allowing him to regularly come infield on his stronger right foot. This can be seen in his heatmap below.
As we can see, Hauge shows a particular tendency to operate in the half-space off the left flank, though he is also not averse to keeping his width. The attacking nature of Bodø/Glimt full-backs allowing the opportunity for both methods to prove fruitful.
Hauge has also been used effectively as a number 10 or a right-winger in the past, though given the settled tactics of his team, this has been an infrequent occurrence this season.
Hauge tends to keep his width when defending, providing ample support for the left full-back.
The rest of this tactical analysis will look at Hauge’s contributions and strengths, as well as suggesting some potential improvements to his game. I will also suggest what the future holds, and a potential career path Hauge could take in order to maximise his development.
The first thing of Hauge’s game that stands out is his underlying numbers in front of goal. Hauge is the joint-second top goal scorer in the Eliteserien this season with 11 goals at an average of 0.72 per 90 minutes. Hauge ranks sixth for shots attempted with 38 with the xG/Shot number of 0.16 higher than those players to have recorded more shots than him. Despite ranking high for the total number of shots taken, his conversion rate this season of just under 29% is outstanding for a wide-attacker.
An overall xG of 6.17 would suggest that he is over-performing and that his current level of goal scoring is unsustainable. However, the below-shot distribution map (recorded over the last calendar year) shows why he is outperforming his xG numbers.
As we can see, there is a cluster of goals scored in the bottom left corner. Remarkably, the graphic also shows that he hasn’t missed the target when aiming for this area of the goal. Clearly Hauge possesses terrific finishing ability when shooting at this area of goal and is able to take lower-quality chances.
In the next part of this analysis, we shall look at how Hauge gets himself into these goalscoring positions.
First of all, Hauge is deceptively pacey and excels at running in behind the opposition defensive line. The below image shows one such occasion.
This position results from a typical Bodø/Glimt counter-press, Hauge has already helped out defensively (a more concrete look at his defensive contribution will come later in this scout report) and quickly spots the right time to make his forward run. He is able to get behind the opposition right-back and drive inwards to receive the pass.
From here Hauge displays his dribbling and 1v1 ability in order to get the shot away. He nutmegs the defender, darts in between him and the other retreating opposition player and finishes with his weaker left foot.
The below image is another example of how deadly Hauge can be in transition. From an opposition corner, Bodø/Glimt break and a terrific pass from Victor Boniface allows Hauge to receive the ball behind the retreating defenders without breaking stride. Hauge draws the keeper before executing a deft chip into the middle of the goal, a further example of his finishing prowess.
Hauge is equally adept at attacking against low-block defences. He generally looks to keep the width when facing teams operating such tactics and drive inwards. Hauge’s pace and dribbling ability make him a nightmare for retreating defenders in this situation, particularly given the constant threat of an overlap Bodø/Glimt’s left-back will offer. With a combination of his dribbling ability and intelligent use of the overlapping runner, Hauge will often work himself a shooting opportunity to cut inside and shoot with the inside of his stronger right foot from this position.
Hauge also possesses excellent anticipation and positioning which offers another goalscoring threat when play is developing on the opposite wing. He has the ability to both dart into the middle of the penalty area and offer a cutback option or arrive late at the back post for a cross. The below image shows an example of the latter.
As well as offering a brilliant goalscoring threat, Hauge also creates a good number of chances for his teammates. A look at his statistics shows he ranks seventh for assists amongst attacking players with 4 (an average of 0.26 per 90 minutes) and first for second assists with 3. Hauge also ranks third for average pass per 90 with 48.52 with an accuracy of 84.26%, with his progressive pass average of 6.19 per 90 showing there is often an attacking intent to his passing.
However, it’s Hauge’s superb dribbling ability (63.25% of his average 7.7 dribbles per 90 are successful) that generally leads to him creating chances for his teammates. His ability to attack both inside and down the line often causes hesitancy amongst opposition defenders for which they are generally made to pay.
The following sequence shows a prime example of Hauge using all of his strengths in order to create a goal for his team.
Hauge picks up the ball on the edge of the area and shapes to either shoot or cross with his right foot. Fully aware of Hauge’s possibilities in this situation, the opposition defender quickly closes him down.
The defender manages to prevent Hauge from using his right foot but is left stranded as a change of direction and an acceleration allows the Bodø/Glimt youngster to beat him on inside. Hauge initially looks to draw a foul from his opponent before proceeding to play a one-two.
Hauge’s pace allows him to get around the outside of a defender in time to receive the pass. The Norwegian youngster then demonstrates his ability to pick out a man and plays a perfect pass across the face of goal for his teammate to rush onto. This ground cross is played perfectly in that the goalkeeper is taken out of the game and any touch from a defender likely results in an own goal.
Hauge is also brilliant at creating chances when drifting into central areas, possessing the ability to play accurate through passes behind the lines for onrushing midfield teammates.
One of the key traits of what makes this Bodø/Glimt team so successful is their work out of possession, particularly their counter-pressing in the final third. Hauge plays a key role in this, averaging 2.04 final third recoveries per 90 minutes this season. This ranks him seventh amongst all attacking players in the Eliteserien.
It’s what happens after these recoveries, however, that makes Hauge’s defensive contributions so important. Of these 2.04 final third recoveries, almost a quarter (0.45) are classed as dangerous recoveries (Wyscout defines a dangerous recovery as one that leads to a shot within 20 seconds). In real terms, this means that from Hauge’s defensive turnovers alone Bodø/Glimt are able to quickly create a shooting opportunity in pretty much every other game.
The above graphics further highlight the importance of Hauge’s defensive work. The left side shows how high Hauge is able to win the ball back for his team. As shown, his output is a combination of counter-pressing and positional pressing, and this is a key theme to Bodø/Glimt’s defensive structure throughout the team.
The right side adds further context to the dangerous aspect of Hauge’s forcing of possession turnover. The statistics show that the resultant shots aren’t simply hopeful efforts. From the 12 shots within 20 seconds of Hauge recovering the ball, five are on target with an xG of 2.31. Put simply, Hauge’s work in defence plays a crucial part in his team’s attacking output.
The below image shows Bodø/Glimt in a typically intense high-press. They have committed six players to the press, this comprises the three attackers, the two more advanced central midfielders and the left-back. The holding midfielder, Patrick Berg, occupies his usual screening position.
Hauge initially presses the ball-carrier on the edge of the penalty area, though this is unsuccessful and IK Start are able to progress the ball out towards the flank. With their left-back ahead of the ball, here is where Hauge and Bodø/Glimt show their tactical awareness and fluidity. The left-back stays high up and closes off the passing lane for Start to go back to their right-back area. Hauge then tracks the ball-carrier into the area his left-back would normally be expected to occupy, closing down any possible passing lane in the channel.
With the ball-carrier having had his passing options quickly closed off, he is shepherded towards the touchline. Hauge even shows his ability to effectively slide-tackle, timing his effort to perfection and winning the ball cleanly.
Another key aspect of the tactics employed by Knutsen is for the wide attackers to shift across and press in central areas when the opposition has the ball on the opposite side of the pitch. Hauge is extremely effective at this given it allows him to defend on his stronger right-side. That Hauge will often drift centrally in attack due to his role as an inside forward allows him to make this transition smoothly.
Hauge is also a willing defender in his own half, possessing the tactical awareness to fill in when his left-back is caught ahead of the play. Given how attacking his usual left-sided partner Fredrik André Bjørkan is, Hauge’s work rate and speed to quickly to get goal-side of the ball is crucial for his team.
As with most promising young winger/forwards, it seems one of Hauge’s only real weaknesses is in his decision making. He is guilty of sometimes cutting in on his right foot and shooting into a crowded area when better options exist. The below image shows such an occasion.
Here, Hauge’s shot is easily blocked. A suggested alternative is that he could play a pass into the shaded area for an unmarked teammate.
Hauge also has a slight tendency to float crosses with his left foot when a better option is to perhaps drive to the byline and play a ground cross. Such examples are, however, hard to find in recent matches and it seems he is improving his decision making with experience.
As he continues to improve in this area it is likely he will increase his assist numbers.
Jens Petter Hauge has played a key part in Bodø/Glimt’s drive for success this season and a move to a league of a higher overall standard is unlikely to be far away. Man United scout Tommy Møller Nielsen watched one of his recent games and it’s easy to see Hauge ending up in the EPL. Though he is perhaps not ready for such a step up yet, and a move to the Eredivisie strikes as being a good one for his career development.
Bodø/Glimt face a potential trip to the San Siro to take on AC Milan in the Europa League should they get through the next round, and it will be interesting to see how Hauge (along with some of the other well-touted players) fare against a higher-quality team.