Why this AC Milan striker is one of Europe’s hottest talents


El ShaarawyAt only 20 years of age, Stephan El Shaarawy has become of one AC Milan’s best players. After impressing on loan Padova, where he scored 9 goals in 29 appearances in Italy’s second tier, Milan signed him from Genoa in the Summer of 2011.

He made his debut that September and 3 days later scored his first goal for the club against Udinese. After a slow start to his Milan career, making just 7 appearances in his first 6 months, he turned things around after it was decided he would not be sent out on loan.

Last Summer he signed a contract extension with the Italian giants and became Milan’s youngest ever Champions League goalscorer when he struck against Zenit St. Petersburg. Since then, he’s gone from strength to strength and is currently AC Milan’s top goalscorer this campaign with 16.

The Summer clear-out of Milan’s old guard has become a massive factor in the young strikers development and he has done extremely well to fill the boots of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

He’s become a well known name around Europe and for good reason. In Milan’s brilliant 2-0 victory over Barcelona at the San Siro, El Shaarawy was extremely impressive- creating problems for the Barcelona defence and grabbing an assist when he chipped the ball through to Muntari.

His performances have led to many plaudits and the Italian striker has been compared to the likes of Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar. Teammate Kevin Prince Boateng also stated that he could fill the void left by Ibrahimovic.

With a venomous left foot, outstanding dribbling ability and deft first-touch I’m expecting big things from this youngster and he could potentially be a big name for Italy in next Summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

Now with 22 Milan goals in 58 appearances in all competitions, El Shaarawy has become pivotal to the regenerated AC Milan side.

The young team showed what they were capable of against Barcelona and will now go from strength to strength. However, being 11 points behind Juventus in the table means it is unlikely they will become league champions this season but with a solid performance at the Nou Camp in a few weeks, there is nothing that can stop El Shaarawy and Milan achieving Champions League success.

This year is very much a transition period for Milan, as they got rid of 13 players last Summer. They’ve done extremely well after a slow start and at the time of writing are on a 7 match unbeaten run in the league.

Next season, Milan will definitely become a team to watch. Their young stars will have experience under their belt, a winning mentality and with El Shaarawy in their ranks they can achieve great things.

El Shaarawy is a player to watch and will continue to be a stand-out player for Milan, as well as important for Italy.

That’s the next stage for him. He’s already broken into the side and scored has scored 1 goal in 3 appearances. He needs to keep himself there and if he continue the great form he’s shown this season, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be.

An Italy front line at the World Cup next year which includes Balotelli and El Shaarawy is certainly a scary thought.

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18 year old Multimedia Journalism student at Teesside Univrsity. Avid Arsenal and Athletic Bilbao fan.

Follow me on Twitter: @challies11