Arsenal and Liverpool were both reportedly interested in Stephan El Shaarawy, but after he swapped Milan for Monaco, they’ve both missed out.
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The 22-year-old has had his problems in the last two years, namely injuries which in turn have stunted his progress and impacted on his confidence.
As well as being criticised for being too predictable, the Italian international was considered incapable of adjusting his game to a new role that Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic had lined up for him in his 4-3-1-2 system at San Siro.
As a result, the Rossoneri finally decided to sell one of the most promising youngsters, with Monaco taking ‘Il Faraone’ on loan with a mandatory option to buy at the end of this season, according to Sky Sports.
Both Arsenal and Liverpool hd been linked with a move for the youngster on several occasions, as noted by the Express, but their lack of tangible action has led to the Ligue 1 side snapping him up instead.
For all his flaws, El Shaarawy is a talented player who merely needs the right environment and system to flourish. Whether or not Monaco offer him that remains to be seen, but it would come as no surprise if he rediscovers his confidence and form and becomes a protagonist for the title chasers.
Milan were in a difficult transitional phase when the Italian ace initially made his impact. After icons such as Pippo Inzaghi, Gennaro Gattuso and Alessandro Nesta decided to retire, the Rossoneri needed to rebuild.
However, a lack of finances impeded them significantly, and instead they were forced to place their faith in some of the younger stars that they identified and acquired.
El Shaarawy was the name that stood out in particular, as he single-handedly dragged Milan through the first half of the season with his energy and goals.
In many ways his game would have suited the Premier League, and, although Arsene Wenger has numerous options in that position, the Italian’s pace and ability to work between the lines and exploit space behind defensive lines would have made him a perfect fit for the Gunners.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are now experiencing life after Raheem Sterling following his switch to Man City. There was not another player on the market at El Shaarawy’s age that was realistically available to fill the Sterling void than the Monaco new boy.
The former Milan star’s tireless approach would have endeared him to either the Arsenal or Liverpool fans, while he has the quality to make a difference offensively too.
Milan’s loss will ultimately be Monaco’s gain, but the opportunity was potentially there for the Premier League pair to get to the front of the queue and secure a player that has threatened to become a star, and may well use his fresh start in France as the platform to grab Europe’s attention again.