Conte relying on El Shaarawy

Italy coach Antonio Conte has hinted Stephan El Shaarawy is set to be one of his key players, provided he fulfils his potential.

Milan attacker El Shaarawy has not scored since August last year, though foot injuries severely hampered his gametime at San Siro last term.

Now seemingly fully recovered and a firm fixture in Milan coach Filippo Inzaghi's plans, the 22-year-old has made seven outings for his club this term, though he is yet to find the net.

Conte has challenged El Shaarawy to step up to the mark and hopes he can begin to showcase his full array of talents with Italy tackling Croatia in Euro 2016 qualifying and Albania in a friendly later this month.

The former Juventus boss said: "We're almost into the thick of the League, so I expect players to raise their level in their performances.

"El Shaarawy has great potential, he is young and he is going through the phase of becoming a footballer.

"It's up to him to either become a normal football player or a great football player.

"I think that he’s got every quality needed in order to leave his mark both in Italy and abroad. I am relying on him and so does my friend Pippo Inzaghi."