The AC Milan-owned forward is reported to be set to join on loan with an option to buy having spent the first half of this season on loan at Ligue 1 club Monaco.
Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev recently said the Italy international was no longer in their plans after he failed to impress at the Stade Louis II, scoring just three goals in 24 appearances.
However, Spalletti revealed he had already spoken to the 23-year-old and is convinced he has the technical quality required to improve Roma.
"In the January transfer window you have to be good at getting into certain situations," the trainer told reporters at a pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday's Serie A clash with Juventus.
"We must do well to substitute players who leave or try to improve our current situation, which is not easy.
"I remember El Shaarawy in a very positive way. He has technique, quality, pace and can score goals. He lost his way a little, I had the chance to speak to him and he gave me positive signals.
"If he comes here to play the final six months of the season and get back his image and a place in the Italy squad, he has to do well. There isn't much time.
"Anyone can have moments where he delivers less than he is capable of in a profession and I think this happened to him too."
Spalletti also addressed rumours Gervinho has requested a transfer following the sacking of his predecessor Rudi Garcia and is in talks with Chinese club Jiangsu Suning.
"Gervinho is disturbed at the moment by all the various reports," Spalletti added.
"We consider Gervinho to be a very important player for us, but in my view it is equally important that he wants to put his body, quality, mind and heart at the disposal of Roma.
"If he doesn't do that, then we'll go beyond him to see others with similar characteristics."