Daniele Bonera believes Stephan El Shaarawy's recent dip in form is unrelated to Mario Balotelli's arrival at AC Milan in the January transfer window.
The promising youngster was one of the revelations of the first-half of the 2012-13 season, but has netted only once for the Rossoneri since the signing of Balotelli in late January.
"I do not think that El Shaarawy is suffering from Balotelli's presence. His drop in form is down to physical reasons. He just needs time to get used to playing alongside Mario," Bonera told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Balotelli has made an excellent impression on me so far. It is hard to say how much he has added to this team, though, as we already had a great team. El Shaarawy and [Giampaolo] Pazzini have been crucial. Mario came here at the right time.
"He is always willing to help out and has been very discreet. He's a smart guy and has matured a lot."
Balotelli has been in sublime form since his move to Milan, scoring seven goals in six Serie A games.