Stephan El Shaarawy has always had talent. There’s no question about that.
One doesn’t make his Serie A debut at 16 years of age and his national team debut at 19 without it. However, what has followed has been a bit of a roller coaster ride that has had both it’s highs and lows.
After scoring 16 Serie A goals as a 20 year old for AC Milan in 2012-13 it looked like El Shaarawy was bound for stardom. It was a high point in a young blossoming career. However, as we’ve seen all too often, injuries derailed what promised to be a stellar career. El Shaarawy was only able to make 6 appearances with the Rossoneri in 2013-14 and just another 18 the following season. Milan decided to cut ties with El Shaarawy after 2014-15 and sent him to Monaco where he lasted only half a season. It looked like El Shaarawy would join a long list of talented youngsters who never reached their full potential. His career had hit it’s low point.
In January 2016 Il Faraone found his way to Roma on loan in an attempt to salvage a floundering career. He acclimated quickly and became an important player down the stretch for the Giallorossi scoring 8 times in 16 league matches. Roma had seen enough to make the deal permanent. The roller coaster was again ascending.
It looked like El Shaarawy was poised to have a big season with the Giallorossi in 2016-17. However, with the reemergence of Edin Dzeko as a premier striker it became more difficult for him to earn starts under Luciano Spalletti. The roller coaster was slowing down after he scored only 8 times in 2016-17.
Enter Esubio Di Francesco.
Since Di Francesco has come to Roma this season, Il Faraone again looks to be on the rise. The sale of Mohamed Salah left a void on the wing and El Shaarawy has again seen consistent game time. In recent weeks, he looks to be riding the roller coaster to new heights. His highlight reel goal against Bologna won Roma that particular match. It was quite the way to celebrate his 25th birtday.
Of course that new rise was highlighted by his Halloween brace against Cheslea in the Champions League. A scare that Chelsea and the rest of Europe won’t soon forget. El Shaarway followed up his lovely goal against Bologna with a stunner and a smooth finish which left the Blues singing the blues. Il Faraone made the Olimpico his pyramid on the day.
Following the match EdF spoke about how El Shaarawy has been able to elevate his game.
His offensive qualities were never in question, but now he’s added a new dimension by contributing defensively. He’s doing what he’s been asked to. He’s not remaining isolated for long periods. He’s getting involved in the play more.
This improvement to his all-around game along with his sizzling hot form have Il Faraone ready to contribute to Italy’s World Cup qualification effort. El Shaarawy has played little for the Azzurri since Ventura took over after Euro 2016. However, there’s no time like the present for Ventura to give him a start. Goals have been hard to come by for the Azzurri of late and they can’t afford a prolonged goal drought against Sweden. A player of El Shaarawy’s offensively quality who is full of confidence could be just the remedy. Let’s hope that Ventura gives him the chance to ride the roller coaster to new heights with the rest of the Azzurri in tow.