AC Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy has stressed he needs time to forge a successful partnership with team-mate Mario Balotelli.
Sections of the Italian media have claimed that the pair was too similar in style to operate effectively together, but the Italy international has refuted that suggestion and insists the two need time to gel together.
“The criticism we are getting seems a bit too much,” El Shaarawy told Milan Channel.
“We’ve only played two games together and we need time to settle. I know that we need to improve in some areas of our game, but it is not true that we can’t work together.”
The former Genoa forward also addressed the knee injury which has kept him out of action intermittently in recent years.
“I have had problems with my knees for two or three seasons now,” he added.
“I can handle the problem, but every now and then it causes me annoyance.”