Berlusconi Junior: El Shaarawy has a lot to prove to Milan

The Rossoneri have decided to resist the temptation to cash in on the 20-year-old, who suffered a dramatic dip in form during the second half of last season

Pier Silvio Berlusconi has welcomed AC Milan’s decision to hold onto Stephan El Shaarawy but believes that the onus is now on the forward to “prove” his worth to the Italian giants.

The Italy international carried the Rossoneri during the first half of last season, netting 15 times in Serie A, but he performed poorly from February onwards, finding the net just once more before the campaign’s end.

Berlusconi, the son of Milan owner Silvio and vice-president of Mediaset, supports the decision to rule out selling El Shaarawy this summer but feels that the 20-year-old must now vindicate the club’s faith in him.

“As a fan, I’m glad he is staying with us,” he told reporters. “He is already a champion, despite his age.

“But he still has to a lot to prove, so I expect the highest commitment from him next season.”

Of course, El Shaarawy’s dramatic dip in form coincided with the arrival of Mario Balotelli, a player for whom Berlusconi has nothing but reverance.

“I adore him,” he enthused. “He is one of the best in the world, physically and technically, and can only improve. I have been supporting him for years.”

Berlusconi was also full of praise for Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri, who it had been thought might leave San Siro for Roma this summer before the Diavolo eventually decided to retain the coach’s services.

“He worked well with the youngsters,” he reasoned. “We gave him time and he achieved good results.

“I was always in favour of him staying. He is the right choice for Milan.”

Milan recovered from a dreadful start last season to clinch a place in the Champions League with a third-placed finish.

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