AC Milan's Stephan El Shaarawy flattered by Arsenal links

AC Milan

The Italy forward has reiterated his commitment to the Serie A club, but also admitted his pleasure at seeing his name recently linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium.

AC Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy has told Tuttomercatoweb.com that he is “gratified” by reports linking him with a move to Arsenal, but insists that he remains committed to his current club.

El Shaarawy, 22, has been out injured for the past five weeks with a fractured metatarsal in his foot and isn’t expected to return to the pitch until the closing stages of the season.

Milan, meanwhile, have endured a testing campaign under Filippo Inzaghi, sitting 10th in the Serie A table with 12 games remaining, and reports have been rampant that the manager is set for the sack following the weekend’s 2-2 home draw with Verona.

Tuttosport claimed last week that the club are looking to offload El Shaarawy in the summer amid their current plight, with Arsenal said to be among the interested parties, but the Italian international himself has since brushed off talks of an exit for now.

“I am recovering well, later this week I should be removing the cast and then the rehabilitation process can begin,” he said of his injury. “I am gratified by Arsenal’s interest, certainly, but my objective is to come back for Milan and do well at Milan.

“Inzaghi is too good a person. He is someone who gives 100 per cent and as a player I hope he can take us all out of this difficult situation.

“There are 12 games to go and we must all try to salvage the campaign in a dignified fashion. We are all to blame for this and fully aware we can do better. The next 12 matches are all like cup finals.”

El Shaarawy, who has earned 11 international caps since 2012, joined Milan from Genoa in June 2011, and has gone on to recorded 25 goals and 14 assists in 95 total appearances for the club.

A breakout 2012-13 campaign saw him net 19 times in 46 games to establish himself as one of Europe’s hottest prospects, but a previous foot fracture forced him to miss most of the following season.

His production this term has also been disappointing, with just one goal in 15 Serie A appearances, but, given the promise he has shown in the past, it’s perhaps no surprise that the likes of Arsenal are looking at him as a potential reclamation project.

That said, with the Gunners having a plethora of attacking options in their current squad, it remains to be seen what use he would be to Arsene Wenger.

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