Monday, 5 November 2012


Who is he? Where does he play?

C'mon, you're surely not asking that after all the headlines the lad gets? He's as high profile as youngsters become, established in the AC Milan side at the tender age of 20. The Italian is also producing the goods, registering eight goals in eleven games already as he cuts through notoriously tight Serie A defences like a carving knife.

Bit of a hitman then?

You would think that given his hot-streak in front of goal this season, but this is the first year he's suddenly burst into an effective goal-bagger, filling in the void for the summer-departed Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as the early days of his blossoming career have been spent on the left-wing. Only since Massimilliano Allegri took a gamble on moving the mohican-headed youngster to the middle has he found his scoring boots. 

Weird name.. what's the story?

He was born in Savona (northern Italy) to an Egyptian father and Italian mother which kind of explains the difficult-to-pronounce surname. Joining Genoa aged 13, he went on to become the fourth youngest player in the history of Serie A as he made his debut aged 16 and 55 days old. After being loaned to Padova where he showed his quality in firing the Venetian club to a near-miss on promotion to the top league, giants Milan jumped in with £13 million to land the attacker and haven't had to wait long, despite a slow start, for the fee to start being repaid.

This is turning into a good year for him?

As good years go, his has been pretty damn good so far. Kicking off with the signing of a new long-term contract in July, he followed that up by making his senior Italian team debut against England in August. Not content with such little impact, El Shaarawry became Milan's youngest ever Champions League scorer by netting against Zenit St Petersburg. 

What can he do?

Pretty much anything. Effective at running at defenders, dropping deep and turning with pace, he can be useful on the counter attack. His Zenit goal, starting on the left, beating 3 players with skill and direct running shows elaborately what he is capable of. He's confident at going forward but can also contribute well to the defensive side, making him a valuable asset to the Allegri cause. 

Milan are in tenth? Will he leave?

It's unlikely despite the reported interest of mega-bucks Manchester City. If a contract binding him to the Rossoneri until 2017 is not enough, Milan CEO Adriano Galliano has taken it upon himself to refute claims of a possible departure, "enough of the speculation!" he said. 

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