Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has likened Dele Alli to footballing icons Diego Maradona and Ronaldinho due to his particular on-pitch ‘charisma’.
Dele established himself as a prodigious expertise under Pochettino at Spurs following his unassuming arrival from MK Dons in 2015.
Often deployed off the shoulder of Harry Kane, Dele was in a position to produce at a prolific fee under the Argentine. During his first two years at Spurs, the 24-year-old registered a staggering 28 goals and 18 assists, garnering a pair of PFA Young Player of the Year awards within the course of.
The then-teenager turned a image of Poch’s youthful, thrilling and energetic Spurs, with the Argentine hailing Dele’s star high quality throughout his recent appearance on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, even evaluating him to a pair of greats.
“It is impossible to say another player was or will be better than Diego Maradona,” the previous Spurs boss said.
“Maradona was a talented, gifted player but was also strong, quick and powerful but his character is that of a winner. The charisma and energy made him so special – the charisma was the best attribute he had.
“Another player with related charisma is Ronaldinho after we played at Paris Saint-Germain.
“And of course at the start with Dele Alli – he was also in this way with this type of charisma. People love Dele.
“I do not want to talk too much but when Dele got here scoring goals, children beloved him. Kids really feel this vitality and charisma, they like it and follow it. Ronaldinho, like Maradona, has this particular vitality.”
Despite his meteoric rise, the last 18 months have, undoubtedly, been a tricky period in Dele’s career. This season, he’s been left out of five of Jose Mourinho’s seven Premier League matchday squads and is seemingly yet to convince the Portuguese coach that he can facilitate a turnaround.
Pochettino refused to comment on Dele’s situation under Mourinho but backed his former star to once again shine: “They need to manage him – it is now not my duty.
“Dele was an superb player for us from the start when he arrived from MK Dons.
“He’s an superb expertise for England and, of course, remains to be younger. We constructed a particular relationship with the entire staff. I hope the whole lot goes effectively for everybody there,” he humbly added.