After the 1-1 draw with Netherlands, the Italian manager Cesare Prandelli has said that he sees a lot of potential in the strike partnership between the Milan players Stephan El Shaarawy and Mario Balotelli. The 22-year-old former Manchester City player recently returned to Italian football after the £ 16 million deal with AC Milan. He has instantly made an impact at the San Siro by scoring two goals in his debut. The two players were picked by the national team manager for the friendly match against Netherlands. It was an important match for the Italians especially after their loss at the hands of France in November.

However, it needed a late goal from the promising midfielder Marco Verratti in order to secure the draw for the Italians in Amsterdam. This result has resulted in criticism for the manager Prandelli, who has said that the results will continue to improve because it is still a young team. He has said that Balotelli could have done extremely well had he been fully fit. The striker is still recovering in full fitness. Even though Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy were on the pitch together, the formation did not bring the most out of them. However, Prandelli has identified several areas that will make them work as a partnership.

“They obviously need to work together. Mario knows he’s not in great shape and needs to recover, but we have an interesting future to work on. We didn’t want to lose and we didn’t want to concede. Obviously the 4-3-3 system is particular and we need time to work on the details, but I saw interesting things in the first half. We need more character, as we have the players with the right qualities,” said Prandelli, whose team will be playing in a friendly match against Brazil in March.