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El Shaarawy revels in starring role

Dec 03, 2012 4:11 PM GMT

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.