The Ghanaian believes his young team-mate has the potential to fill the void left by the Sweden star at San Siro, and insists his side are capable of beating Barcelona
The Italian has been a revelation for the Rossoneri since the Swede's departure last summer, notching 16 goals so far this season, and the attacking midfielder believes the 20-year-old is fast becoming a player of high calibre.
"We almost have a new Ibrahimovic: if El Shaarawy continues like this, he will surely become that," Boateng told Die Welt.
"With a striker like Ibrahimovic, players like me and Nocerino had more space and therefore more chances to score. Now it is a bit more difficult, but we have improved a lot and we can do even more."
AC Milan take on Barcelona in the last 16 of the Champions League, and while Boateng acknowledges the difficulty of the task at hand, he insists anything is possible over two legs.
"It's the best team in the world, it is a great opportunity and will be a great game. This will be the third time in two years we face them.
"It's going to be a game that is discussed a lot, but in the end it will be two games in which anything can happen. David can beat Goliath, anything can happen."