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The 20-year-old has blasted the Italian media for suggesting he does not operate well with his new team-mate

AC Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy has stressed the need for patience in forging a successful strike-partnership with team-mate Mario Balotelli.

Sections of the Italian media have claimed that the pair were too similar in style to operate effectively as a duo, 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," he 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 sidelined the 20-year-old 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."

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