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El Shaarawy revels in starring role

By Football News

Stephan El Shaarawy feels the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Cassano have helped his development at AC Milan this season.

The 20-year-old forward has been one of the revelations of the 2012/13 campaign so far, and has become one of the undisputed stars of Serie A following his fine performances for Milan.

"With the departures of Ibrahimovic and Cassano, two great strikers left and I've more space now. I started the season in the best way possible personally; I grew a lot," El Shaarawy told the official UEFA website.

The Italy international thanked coach Massimiliano Allegri for the faith shown in him since his arrival at the club in 2011.

"I felt a lot of faith from his side, especially last season when I made 28 appearances," he said.

"This year I've felt even more faith, because the first two matches in Serie A didn't go well and he still continued to pick me. I have to thank him a lot for that."

El Shaarawy has netted 12 goals in 15 Serie A appearances to date this season.