El Shaarawy struggled for form when Balotelli arrived at Milan last season.
"Mario and I are more than just teammates, we are true friends. We are always together and also talked about this. I've never listened to anyone who said my problem was him. In fact, he was one of the people who stayed closest during my difficulties and encouraged me.
"There's no jealousy between us. I am convinced that I can do well with or without him on the field. I also think it's normal for a 20-year-old player to not necessarily score every week. Opponents also got to know me and studied me more carefully."