Mauricio Pochettino Says Dele Alli Can Be Better Than Neymar

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2017

TOPSHOT - Tottenham Hotspur's English midfielder Dele Alli celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Watford at White Hart Lane in London, on April 8, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
JUSTIN TALLIS/Getty Images

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino praised Spurs midfielder Dele Alli on Wednesday by stating the England international has the potential to become better than Barcelona superstar Neymar.

Dan Kilpatrick of ESPN passed along comments from the Tottenham boss made to BeIN Sports about the 21-year-old rising star:

I think Dele Alli has a completely different personality to Neymar. I think he's a special player too. I don't know if he's in this level yet—but the potential will be to be like him or better.

I think Dele is an unbelievable player, great player, still very young and his potential is massive. We'll see what happens. He has the potential to improve a lot.

Alli has established himself as one of the top young midfielders in the world since joining Spurs in 2015 after spending the first four years of his professional career with Milton Keynes Dons.

The dynamic playmaker tallied 10 goals and nine assists across 33 Premier League appearances during his debut campaign with Tottenham. He's backed that up during the current term with 16 goals and five assists through 30 EPL matches this season.

He's showcased particularly strong form as of late. He's found the net in six of his past seven games for the club across all competitions, including a goal in a 4-0 victory over Watford on Saturday. He also chipped in four assists during that stretch of terrific play.

In March, Jack Pitt-Brooke of The Independent noted Alli said he's got "many things to learn from this season," including how to handle his emotions after a straight red against Gent during Europa League play in February. But he doesn't want to lose all of that competitive fire.

"I have calmed down a bit but it's important that I am never going to take that out of my game," he said. "I'm never going say sorry for wanting to win or trying as hard as I can. Sometimes things happen and you have to learn from them."

While Alli's talent is undeniable, comparing him to Neymar sets an incredibly high bar. The 25-year-old Brazilian sensation already owns numerous club and individual honors, and finished third in Ballon d'Or voting in 2015 behind only the world-class rivals Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

For more news, rumors and related stories about Dele Alli, the Tottenham Hotspur and the EPL, check out the EPL and Tottenham streams on Bleacher Report's app.