AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has hailed Stephan El Shaarawy's role in the club's 2012-13 campaign after the young attacker's goals kept them alive in the race for the top three.
The Italy international has been struggling to find his best form in the second half of the season, but the club's vice-president has not forgotten about the 20-year-old's fine performances before the winter break.
"Stephan has kept us afloat at times and without him we wouldn't be third," he was quoted as saying on the club's official website.
"Everyone has highs and lows and El Shaarawy has played a lot and scored a lot. Even if he doesn't score he works well for the team."
Galliani then went on to admit that Milan will be looking to strengthen their back line in the summer transfer window.
"We’ll make some changes at the back as it's always the best defence which wins the league."
Milan will secure third spot in Serie A if they beat Roma this weekend.