Official: Stephan El Shaarawy is not for sale

Posted by Sumeet Paul

Marco Luzzani/Getty ImagesStephan El Shaarawy will have another year to prove he belongs at AC Milan.

After weeks of speculation surrounding his future, it has been announced that Stephan El Shaarawy will not leave Milan this summer. Despite statements to the contrary over the past month, the club have officially declared the player off the market.

- Milan rule out El Shaarawy sale

Milan chief Adriano Galliani met with the 20-year-old on Tuesday evening, after the Italian international returned from the Confederations Cup in Brazil.

With Cesare Prandelli revealing his worries over the player regarding both his physical and mental fatigue, it will come as a great relief for the youngster that he can now draw a line under the speculation and continue with the Rossoneri.

"The meeting between Adriano Galliani, Stephan El Shaarawy and his entourage has taken place," read a statement on the club website.

"It all went well. Stephan, who has always been a Milan fan, confirmed his strong desire to continue playing in the Rossoneri jersey.

"That proposal was shared by Milan with conviction and trust. Milan and El Shaarawy go forward together, as they have done since June 2011.

"No transfer, no rumours, no links. Milan, the Rossoneri colours and the Pharaoh will absolutely stick together."

While the news is most welcome, there is a vital question to address this summer, and that is how the Milan coaching staff will help improve El Shaarawy.

Former Rossonero Zvonimir Boban had questioned the star's progression prior to the announcement, stating his belief that El Shaarawy must improve a great deal as he became predictable towards the end of last season.

While that in part is true given his tendency to cut inside, it is imperative that he learns to use both his ability on the ball and pace to be fully effective. His positional sense will also be tested considering the change of formation next year, but there were signs of his ability to adapt in Italy's clash with Uruguay on Sunday.

It is clear that the 20-year-old possesses a real footballing brain, as he made countless runs in and behind defences across Serie A last season. However, it is now about evolving his raw talent, and re-instilling confidence into his play, particularly when taking on his marker.

El Shaarawy will benefit from a prolonged rest and a full pre-season schedule alongside Mario Balotelli, where the duo will look to dispel suggestions that they are incompatible.

Both are gifted individuals, and given their close friendship off the pitch, they will need to find a way to translate that on to the pitch in the new campaign.

Critics of Massimiliano Allegri have suggested that he asked too much of the youngster last season, with his tireless defensive work taking precedence over his effectiveness in the final third.

However, El Shaarawy isn't at a level where he can afford to neglect different aspects of the game and must continue to work hard doing the fundamentals for the team when things aren't going well.

Nevertheless, confirmation that he will still be at San Siro next season sends an important message to the supporters. While it is questionable as to how strong interest was in the player considering his highly-inflated price-tag, the club have made the right decision in not abandoning the strategy that started twelve months ago.

Having discussed the "sell before you buy" policy previously, Milan have identified players they are willing to sell this summer. Fortunately, El Shaarawy is not part of that group.

Was the decision to take El Shaarawy off the market the right one? Where do you feel he can improve as a player?

For all the latest Milan and Serie A news, you can follow me on Twitter @italiafooty

ESPN Conversations