MAURICIO POCHETTINO compared Dele Alli to Ronaldinho and Diego Maradona due to their special ‘charisma’ on the pitch.
Poch signed Dele for Tottenham from MK Dons in 2015 and saw him rise to becoming an England regular and two-time PFA Young Player of the Year.
The midfielder is finding life difficult under Jose Mourinho at the moment after being left out of five of the seven Premier League matchday squads.
But he still has the full backing of his former boss, who highlighted his star ability and likened it to two World Cup winners.
Pochettino said: “It is impossible to say another player was or will be better than Diego Maradona.
“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 similar charisma is Ronaldinho when 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.
“But what an amazing player Ronaldinho was – the talent was complete because of the charisma, like Maradona. That is what made a real special player.
“I don’t want to talk too much but when Dele came scoring goals, kids loved him.
“Kids feel this energy and charisma, they love it and follow it. Ronaldinho, like Maradona, has this special energy.”
Pochettino appeared as a guest pundit on Monday Night Football for Leicester’s win at Leeds.
And he was quick to defend the 24-year-old playmaker amid his current dip – but was reluctant to comment on his struggles with Mourinho.
Poch added: “They need to manage him – it’s no longer my responsibility.
“Dele was an amazing player for us from the beginning when he arrived from MK Dons.
“The way that he had hunger and energy. He was always on the line but we always tried to help him and told him when to take a step back.
“He’s an amazing talent for England and of course is still young. We built a special relationship with the whole team. I hope everything goes well for everyone there.”