The attacking midfielder believes his young team-mate is destined for greatness, and has admitted he has made mistakes in the past
The Italy international has been one of the revelations of the 2012-13 campaign so far, netting 16 goals in 27 Serie A appearances, and his colleague has little doubt that there is more to come.
"El Shaarawy has huge potential. He's a very cheeky player, and I like those types of players. Those who don't care if they play against Barcelona or Cagliari," he told reporters.
The former Ghana international then went on to reflect on his behaviour in the past and admitted that he has not always made the right decisions.
"When I was younger, I did a lot of things I shouldn't have done. Then you get dumped into a new life where you earn a lot of money and play in front of a crowd of 80,000. That isn't easy.
"You should always try to remain grounded and work hard constantly. That's the most important thing."