Inzaghi: Time on El Shaarawy's side

Milan coach Filippo Inzaghi has urged patience with forward Stephan El Shaarawy.

A mercurial talent, El Shaarawy has endured an injury-interrupted season so far.

The 21-year-old Italy international has been restricted to two appearances and was an unused substitute in Milan's last two outings, having started the 1-0 home defeat to Serie A champions Juventus last month.

Ahead of Chievo's visit to San Siro on Saturday, Inzaghi claims that the host of attacking reserves at his disposal feature among the reason's for El Shaarawy's quiet period, but he insists the player remains a key part of his plans.

"When I arrived I thought about the 4-3-3 formation for him as it brings the best out of his qualities," Inzaghi explained.

"I respect him a lot and he had a great match versus Lazio. Then he had an injury. I made him play against Juventus as a sign of how much I rate him. 

"We have seven players up front. Unfortunately it’s hard to leave three on the bench. I will try to send four out on the pitch.

"At Cesena I wanted to play El Shaarawy in the second half, but then we saw what happened. He's doing well and the fitness that he had at the start of the season is back. It will be down to me to choose the best line up.

Inzaghi added: "Let's not forget his age. It's normal to have highs and lows at this age. 

"He's in an environment that loves him and that rates him highly. It's down to me to cultivate his talent. 

"I need to give precedence though to the team and not the individual. I always choose for the good of the team. Everybody is important."